Problem with trimming hedges

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Darryl G, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I'm looking for input on a problem with trimming some Boxwood hedges that I've done once/year for the last 2 years.

    The problem is that in general the hedges are very dense and those areas cut well with my gas-fired shears, but there are a few areas within them that are less dense and kind of sparse. When trimming the dense areas, the there is very little flex to the hedge, so I get a nice clean/even cut. But when cutting the sparse areas, the growth flexes and moves away from the shears, resulting in it being cut taller than the surrounding growth. I really don't ever recall this being a problem on other hedges I've trimmed.

    Would this have anything to do with the "blade stiffeners" being present on the 2 shears I used for this being my new Echo HC-150 and the other being my fairly new Shindaiwa extended shears. I don't recall having this problem with my 30 inch Shindaiwa shears or the ones for my Shin multi tool which have no "blade stiffener" or any corded shears I've used in the past for that matter. Unfortunatley, I didn't bring my big Shin unit or the multi-tool ones with me to test this theory. I ended up grabbing my hand shears to even things out, but the result wasn't quite up to my standards.

    Your thoughts/experience? Is my problem related to what they call a blade stiffener pushing things away before they can be cut? BTW, the blade stiffener really seems to me to be more of a safety feature than a blade stiffener.
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    its a blade guard designed to keep the blades from slicing your leg up.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Yeah but they call it a blade question is whether or not that's likely what's causing my cutting problem. I think I'll just pull them off.
  4. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I take mine off all of my trimmers it screws up my depth perception when trimming bushes.
  5. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    I think the safety part is your problem, as I have the same problem on loose hedges. Also, try to upsell the customer on some inner prunning to promote growth from within. That will help the issue tremendously, but it is time consuming to do it correctly, so bill accordingly. I am going to do a serious boxwood cutback tommorrow, and if I remember I will take some pics to post on here. They are getting cut back from 3.5' tall to around 2' and need to be trimmed from within as well to promote growth as there will be little to no growth after this job for around a month. The customer has been informed that it might not survive (just putting that in there so nobody flames me)
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Upselling doesn't work with the customer. Only the minimum gets done. Actually less than the minimum, LOL. It's a profitable account though and she's easy to deal with.
  7. fast06yfz

    fast06yfz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    idk. sthil calls them a guard on there web site. I was told leg guard. I have no problems cutting with mine on though.
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Yeah, Echo calls the a blade stiffener for some reason.
  9. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I don't think your blade stiffener is the problem. I take the darn things off at the time of purchase anyway.
    The problem is the Buxus species........Boxwoods cut only once a year isn't going to cut it.
    I know that this species is a slow grower yet does grow leggy in certain areas. Leaf density on the boxwoods is sparse unless there is favorable conditions for their proper growth.
    I cut boxwoods real slow across the leaf surfaces as the blades will sheer the leaves and break them off. This leaves a stubby appearance unless you train the boxwood with more cutting during the season. The new topgrowth will be leggy.............what else can you say but to either trim them twice a season. In shady areas, it may be not an option as it leads to asymmetrical less dense plants.
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I'll try to snap some pics the next time I service the lawn. Most of the hedge is very dense but there are a few spots in the middle are both lower (less growth) and less dense than the rest of the hedge. Basically there are some holes in the top of it. It's a dwarf variety I believe...maybe part of it has dwarfism ;) I don't think the variations are due to sunlight other than on one end of it.

    I just don't like stepping back to look at it and not having a nice even line.

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