Trimming spirals

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by promower, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,233

    Any books that someone could reccomend on learning how to do more advanced shrub trimming/shaping?
  2. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i've turned many a spiral into a pom pom. you just need to be able to talk your way out of it
    weeze likes this.
  3. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    I think "shaping" just takes practice. Spirals are time consuming how you do it if you want them to look just right.
  4. Greentek4

    Greentek4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Yes, practice makes perfect
  5. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    It's all about consistent angles..I use a gas shear for the initial cuts, and then hand detail them out . Practice and a steady hand / eye are the two keys to better spirals. And as BG said, if all else fails, tell them its nouveaux landscaping, and its's supposed to look like
    wheatus likes this.
  6. roody2333

    roody2333 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 722

    I think a mini hedge trimmer might be key for this, possibly only available as battery operated. Just google "mini hedge trimmer". There's two types I see, the common type hedging blade and a blade that goes on in front with just a few teeth and you push the unit forward to cut like a multi tool. Most come with both blades you can swap.

    I trimmed a few spiral evergreens last year using only my powerhead with a hedge trimming attachment (like 4.5' total length). It was frustrating and took forever and the 4.5' length with my back against the house made it much harder but I got it done nice. I just bought a regular stand-alone gas hedge trimmer for spirals and I was also thinking it would blow away using the 4.5' attachment for smaller shrubs (I was thinking because of the smaller size I would just go in there slicing and dicing real fast). But for smaller shrubs standard, non-design trimming, I was wrong. The 4.5' outperforms the stand-alone smaller hedge trimmer by a lot IMHO. Because of the ergonomics etc, might be personal preference but I ended up not even using the stand-alone trimmer. The stand-alone would be better for spirals than the 4.5' but I think the best combination is to omit the stand-alone trimmer, and use the 4.5' for most everything and then put the extension pole on it for taller stuff combined with a ladder for even taller stuff (I have the articulating attachment but I almost never find the need to use the articulation especially with a ladder and the added extension pole), and then the mini trimmer for detailed work like spirals. Keep em sharpened and oiled too.

    I'm not sure about this species but possibly it's not meant to be turned into a spiral all of a sudden like this guys does in this video I lol'd. It might not green up in areas you cut back too much i.e in the spirals it will all turn dead and never turn green depending on the species.

    I think most species are already grown trained to be a spiral like these.

    This is nice but I think the mini trimmer would be less frustrating, faster, and more precise after doing the initial vertical trimming. You could also just use manual sheers but that would take longer and be less precise that the mini electric IMHO.

    Here's some cool stuff. A lot more if you check youtube for Topiary Garden.

    Although there's probably wires and Styrofoam etc inside, no one does it up like Disney.

    southerntide likes this.
  7. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,161

    Not really hedge trimmer work. Sanvik-pradines, and Felco pruners would be my tools of choice.
  8. southerntide

    southerntide LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Alabama
    Messages: 5,957

    Nice videos

    Yeah it would take something like HS45 to get that I choose a 45 of commercial just as powerful and nice for fine trimming like this.

    Kombi no way you could do this with articulating trimmers lol
    ericg likes this.
  9. Nick's Lawn Service

    Nick's Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 497

    i read somewhere about using a string line, in a spiral, just make sure its equal distance, then trim in between them. but you-tube is a great pace.
  10. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,161

    That sounds like a great way to end up with brown, when you are working with limited foilage, you don't want a arbitrary line , you prune by hand and by feel , you have to develop this skill by experience.

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