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Video: Hedge Trimming Rules
If today you take a close look at the dacha and garden plots, then you will definitely notice that more and more outdated and dilapidated wooden fences are being replaced by hedges of a wide variety of trees and shrubs.
But if you take a closer look at such hedges, then most often we find their rather low decorativeness, which is a consequence of mistakes made when cutting trees and shrubs and forming a single composition from them. Based on the fact that in our area the best time for trimming hedges is early spring, the author, based on personal experience and the experience of other site owners, found it useful to provide tips to prevent such mistakes.
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Pruning, as a basic hedge maintenance technique, should be done throughout the life of trees and shrubs. Its purpose is first to form the crown, later to preserve its shape, and later to rejuvenate old trees and shrubs. Formative pruning includes pinching and shortening shoots, heavy pruning and thinning. A very beautiful, symmetrical, compact or spreading shape of the crown of trees and shrubs can be created by pinching the shoots. This technique is used, as a rule, in the first year after planting the seedlings, and it can be repeated during the period of the end of shoot growth. Pinch both from above and from the sides of the crown (see Fig. 1A).
In the second and third year, in early spring, pruning is done again, maintaining the desired crown shape and ensuring a balance between the aboveground and underground parts of the tree. If the pinching is not carried out in a timely manner, then they resort to shortening the shoots, necessarily producing it in the second year, and for all types of trees and shrubs. Most often, in the first years after the creation of a hedge, 1 / 2-1 / 3 of the growth of shoots is cut, and as it grows, the depth of pruning is increased to 2/3 of the length of the shoots.
When pruning trees and shrubs in the formed hedge, a number of specific rules should be observed
First, to obtain a wider crown, it is cut on the outer bud, and for a narrower one - on the inner bud.
Secondly, when cutting thin branches, the location of the buds is not taken into account, and on thick ones, the cut site is chosen not too close so as not to damage the bud, and not too far so that the part of the branch remaining behind the bud does not die.
Thirdly, if the branches are very thick, then they make a smooth cut with an outward slope near or far from the main trunk, and the thickest branches are most often eliminated by triple pruning.
Fourth, if, due to improper or untimely pruning, the hedge is too bare from below, it must be rejuvenated by cutting the plants "on a stump" (slightly above the ground), and re-growing the hedge (except for conifers).
Fifth, if the lower branches in the hedge die off, suffering from a lack of light, they should be cut, giving the shape of a cone or trapezoid (see Fig. 1B) with an angle of inclination to the horizon of about 70o.
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The first haircut, as a rule, is carried out in the second year after planting, and in subsequent years they maintain a given shape, achieving the best branching and density. At the same time, recently, instead of scissors, they increasingly use a braid for cutting, which is bolted to a short (just below shoulder level) wooden handle, and not at an angle, like a regular braid, but in one plane. Such a scythe can be successfully worked by raising it high above the ground, and with garden scissors it remains only to trim individual branches, often getting such forms of hedges as palmette and a flat wall (see Fig. 2).
Of course, do not forget about the need for sanitary pruning of any hedge, in which the sick, drying out branches growing inside the crown are first cut out. Fences also require rejuvenating pruning, which is carried out when trees and shrubs almost cease to give an annual increase or when the tips of the shoots dry out. At the same time, sanitary pruning should be carried out during the entire growing season of trees and shrubs, and rejuvenating, as well as formative, should be carried out in early spring before the beginning of the growing season, making cuts above the place where new shoots appear.
By adhering to these simple rules, you can create a hedge on the site that meets all the requirements of landscape design and decorates your garden.