Trim conifers

A neat hedge now will hold its shape until spring.

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Late summer or early autumn is the traditional time to give conifers a trim to tidy them up ready for winter. Growth has really slowed down by this time of the year and no new growth will be made over the coming months, meaning the hedge will keep its newly trimmed shape right the way through winter and until growth starts again next spring.

Trimming now also allows the wounds plenty of time to heal over before the weather turns cold and frosty. If conifers are cut in the winter, there’s a chance that some of the cut branches will die-back after heavy frosts.

All types of conifer can be trimmed now including yew, thuja and leylandii. Unfortunately, Leylandii has received bad press over the years, but when it’s trimmed and kept to a manageable size it makes a good, dense hedge and is no more difficult to look after than any other type of hedge.

All that’s needed is an annual trim at this time of the year to keep all conifer hedges in shape and to maintain the size. How you trim will depend on the size of the hedge, but whether using hand-shears or a hedge-cutter, the aim is to cut back all the new growth that has been made this summer, back to the established shape.