As May marks the start of the pruning season for established hedges, we have produced a schedule for hedge pruning to help you plan.
Since gardening was first invented – or should that be discovered – pruning continues to cause more unnecessary anxiety than any other horticultural discipline. If you are a novice, the best advice we can offer is to choose your authority (publications from the RHS and/or their website offer excellent guidance) and then follow their advice with confidence…
BUXUS SEMPERVIRENS (Box)
May – September. But do not prune, cut or trim when wet.
CARPINUS BETULUS (Hornbeam)
June – Late August. Hard pruning during the first few years will create a bushier hedge. Once established, simply clip to shape.
Picture above: A Hornbeam Allee just before its annual trim
Prune hard in May or June. Trim again in September to shape.
FAGUS SYLVATICA (Beech)
During the first three years cut back all new shoots hard – including leaders. Once established, trim to shape in June and/or late August.
FAGUS SYLVATICA PURPUREA (Purple Copper Beech)
As with the Common Beech, cut back all new shoots hard – including leaders – during the first three years. Once established, trim to shape in June and/or late August.
LIGUSTRUM OVALIFOLIUM (Privet)
Trim once or twice between May and August. Hard pruning during the first few years will create a bushier hedge. Once established, clip to shape.
PHOTINIA X FRASERI ‘RED ROBIN’
Prune in June and August to encourage red shoots
PRUNUS LAUROCERASUS (Cherry Laurel)
Trim to shape in June but leave the leading shoots until the required height has been reached.
TAXUS BACCATA (Yew)
If you are on a low-maintenance regime, the best time for an annual trim is late August. Hard pruning, if required, is best undertaken in spring. If you are working towards (or have already achieved) more complex topiary, trim in June and/or Late August
THUJA PLICATA (Western Red Cedar)
Trim in early August.
NB: Avoid pruning or trimming when it is wet (to deter any air-borne diseases taking hold|) or in full sun (to prevent the possibility of scorching).