Hedge Trimming Advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by wiggum22, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. wiggum22

    wiggum22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I have been running my business for 2 years now with quite a bit of success. I have a client who has a row of hedges, (boxwood style, no flowering) that are about 6-7 feet tall. I have trimmed them several times in the past and now he wants to cut them way down, trimming them to at least half the size. If I trim them that low, there are very few blooming or leafy limbs. Is it ok to do that? I've heard yes and no, but want to hear from some experts. Thanks for anyones help!!
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I would do a search on google for some better, longer explanations but...

    Basically it is ok so long there is at least ONE leaf left, and that is not a joke. Now really you want half a dozen or so leaves left just in case, because leaves are how the plant does photosynthesis and that is required for boxwoods to survive. So whichever sticks you leave, as you cut inwards, watch, there will be a few leaves on the very bottom inside, not many but... Save those, don't cut off the last stick with the few leaves on it but you can take it back to that point.

    In addition, do this trimming later but not too late in the year. The temps need to cool but don't wait until it's cold. Basically, the temps outside should be in the 60's-70's, not over 80 and not much below 50, so likely late september very early october (for virginia anyway).

    That's about it, several years ago I took about 2 dozen of these WAY down (they were like 12-14 feet tall and I took them down to 1-2 feet, nothing but the bare basics left, with a few leaves left on each... A FEW (1 or 2, maybe 3) did not survive, so expect between a 5-10 percent failure rate thou I will also say it had a lot to do with how healthy they were to begin with, the ones that did not make it also didn't look very good before I even started. As far as I know, all the healthy ones made it, but it's been a long time ago, I don't recall exactly.

    Keep in mind it takes at least one but really 2-3 years for them to come back halfway, but they do come back.
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    1st Identify the bush before asking how to prune it. Boxwoods can be cut back some. Privets can be cut back a lot. take a pic of what your wanting to prune an you will get more help
  4. hughmcjr

    hughmcjr LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 183

    If it is not too hot, you can cut boxwoods back hard as they are an evergreen and NOT a conifer. If you cut back almost any conifer to where there is no foliage, then on that stem or branch growth will not return.

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