Autumn Hedge Cutting Tips

October 25, 2021

At this time of year our teams are super busy helping customers to prepare their gardens for the change of season. Summer pots and flowering shrubs are past their best and the rapid growth that we see during summer months has left hedges looking scruffy and dishevelled.

Whether the hedges are around the boundary of your home, providing privacy from passers-by, or you have commercial properties with hedges within the grounds, now is the time to trim them back and prepare for another great growing season next year. 

When is the right time to trim hedges?

If you search on Google you’ll find a raft of information about hedge trimming and even some conflicting advice. In the main, we undertake the majority of our hedge cutting in the autumn months. Summer growth has come to an end and the weather is still mild enough that trimming won’t leave the hedges vulnerable to frost. 

We are also outside of bird nesting season which is an important consideration when cutting back hedgerows. 

The benefits of pruning

Hedge cutting and pruning is more than just an aesthetic exercise. Whilst it does keep your garden looking neat and tidy, pruning is also important for the health of the shrubs and hedges. The correct cutting back of dead stems and top growth will help prevent fungal diseases setting in and damaging the plant. 

Hedges can take many years to mature and reach your desired height and depth, so keeping them in good health is an investment in their longevity!

When and how to prune for the best outcomes of the plants depends on the variety you have in your garden. Some plants like to be pruned right back to ground level whilst others need a little less radical approach. 

The challenge of DIY hedge cutting

Hedge cutting will usually involve the use of powered hedge cutters. If the hedge is high you will need to use a ladder in order to see the area you are working in properly.

There should be no mistake that working at height with heavy power tools is dangerous. For both your own wellbeing and that of the hedge, this is a task that is generally best left to the professionals. Rarely do people undertake this on their own and achieve the straight, sharp lines you will see on a hedge that has been professionally cut. Before you know it, the impact of repeatedly trying to straighten out a wonky cut, or create a well balanced end result will see you cutting away far more than you intended or is necessary.

In our experience, the average homeowner will not own hedge trimmers with the necessary power and precision to do a really good job. 

The cost of getting it wrong

If you planted your hedges yourself, think back to how much each of the small, young plants cost. Now imagine the significantly higher cost of replacing mature hedges if you cut them too low or they become diseased or damaged due to a poor cut.


Similarly, engaging a contractor who doesn’t have the relevant knowledge about cutting plants back can be a costly mistake. Take a look at the cautionary tale in this blog for an eye opening example!

The waste soon mounts up!

We frequently speak to people who have grossly underestimated how much waste will be generated by a seemingly small task like trimming the hedges. It’s not uncommon for our teams to fill five, six or even ten one-tonne capacity bags when hedge cutting for customers. 


Getting all that waste to the tip is back breaking work - not to mention the mess it will make of your family car!

Do you need a helping hand?

If you need help managing the your hedges and preparing your garden for the colder months, get in touch with Claire today, simply call 023 8063 2600 or email