Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassyfras, May 29, 2001.

  1. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    How do yout trim a simple bush and make it look so good? I always tend to butcher it and it looks uneven. Do commercial hedge trimmers do a better job or are the jsut more reliable? Any tips?
  2. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    i just got done doing hedges today best way to do them is cut what need to be cut nothing extra .if im doing a straight hedge for the top ill go once on the side once in the midle and once on the other side then lightly trim whats up little untill its straight i used to butcher to i would keep cutting and cutting them because there would be a little off i never new keep doing that and theyll never be straight youll just burn out the hedge lol good thing it was my girlfriends mothers. this way much easier and much safer
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    First of all, good luck. I seem to always get burned on hedge work. I love to make them perfect, but it takes longer. People want them perfect but want to pay a quickie price.

    Practice and you'll get the hang of the trimmers.
  4. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    Trimming shrubs is just one of thoe things that you either natrually have a talent for or cant do it at all. I spend a long time trimming shrubs because i am a perfectionest and will not leave if there is a leaf out of place. I have yet to find one employee who can trim a shrub without butchering it or making it uneven no matter how much time i spend doing it.
  5. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    follow the contour of the shrub and step back and look at the big picture often. Look at all sides, not just the one you are standing on. And cut less off rather than more---you can always take more off.

    and thats how I do it.

  6. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    Like Jeff said...step back and take in the big picture. Sure up close you are going to see minor flaws, but from the street it'll look awesome.

    Kinda the same analogy to that girl walking towards you from a distance...from afar she looks smokin'....then as she gets closer you see the big nose...then she gets closer and you see the mole on the big nose...then she gets closer and you see the hair growing out of the mole on the big nose. Get the picture? ;)
  7. evergreenlawn

    evergreenlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Patience. Patience. Patience. I still butcher some if I try to rush. Make sure you are comfortable with the trimmers you are using, meaning they are not too heavy for you. I always seem to do better with a smaller pair.
  8. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Is what Jeffyr said. Its a lot better to take off not enough clippings than too much. You can always step back, take a look and cut back a little more, but its tough as hell to pick up trimmings and glue them back into place after you've taken too much off!

    Hopefully what your trimming has some established shape to it then you should be able to see where the new growth is and nip it back. The closest you keep to the contour each time, the more the shrub will fill in in other areas.

    Good Luck, have patience and get lots of practice. It'll come to you!
  9. trimmer

    trimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 293

    I can trim a hedge straight as an arrow. 9 times out of ten. A nicely trimmed hedge can set a yard off. You may not be able to follow my instructions but here they go, When trimming the top don't hold the trimmer at a certian hieght and walk because the ground can be uneven even though it may look even. While trimming the top or sides even it up with the last foot that you just trimmed. Step back every now and then and look at them and to take break. Hope this helps. If you really want a nice hedge get a real good set of hand clippers say for 100 dollars. I find it harder to trim a straight hedge with hand clippers than with a gas but the result is nicely pruned hedge. :D
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    trimmer above has great ideas, but here's the way they do it at gardens in theme parks. if you want it straight and level 10 times out of 10, use a couple stakes taller than the hedge and a string with a string level on it. ( you buy them at depot or lowes for 2 bucks ) the total investment for this: 15 bucks tops. stake it on either side and far enough back to not cut the string. I've also seen them run strings for sides of hedges as well. to keep them parallel.

    As for individual shrubs, I like the round ball look, square is too hard to match. try to take off a little, stop, look, back, etc. Shrubs tend to want to grow together. keep them trimmed as individuals until the branches intermingle, then trim them as one. keep gas or hand trimmers razor sharp. otherwise they tear the leaves, and even perfect jobs look fuzzy and brownish. practice makes perfect. Dave g

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