Hints & Tips
Time to trim the hedges of their Spring growth, for nothing shows off a garden large or small as well as a neat hedge or even a piece of elaborate topiary.
But before trimming please check there are no nesting birds still sitting on their eggs of tending their young.
Many young have now flown their parental home, much like offspring off to university or an educational trip to Magaluf, but put off hedge trimming if there is still bird activity in the hedges.
If you find it difficult to keep a straight line use a piece of garden twine strung between to sticks to give you a guide. It may be a bit time consuming but will pay dividends in the long run.
Small hedges can be trimmed with a conventional pair of shears, like this one, the Wilkinson Sword 1111142WF Geared Hedge-Shear.
It has been designed to trim even thicker hedge stems with a serrated edge and geared transmission between the handles making life a lot easier.
The 25cm blades are made from high-carbon steel and have a non-stick coating to stop leaves and twigs clogging things up.
Delivered free within two to three days they cost £28 and have a 10-year warranty.
This long-reach trimmer makes it easier to trim the tops of hedges safely and to reach hedge sides where access is difficult – where a hedge grows close to a brick wall for instance.
The Cobra LRH40E Electric Long-Reach Hedgetrimmer has a maximum reach of 185cm and is powered by a 500W electric motor.
The blades are 39cm long and dual reciprocating for a neat cut and this also helps speed up the job as they can be used in a sweeping motion.
The cutting head articulated is easily adjusted through 90 degrees so you can choose the blade angle to suit the job.
The hedge cutter comes with ten metres of power cable.
It costs £99.99, a tenner off the recommended price and we deliver from our suppliers within seven to ten days of receiving your order. And there is a two-year warranty.
‘Good Product. Easy to change the angle of the blade. Far better and safer than ladders. Well worth the money,’ wrote one customer.
This one from a leading German engineering company is just the job for smaller hedges.
The Al-Ko HT600 Flexible-Cut Electric Hedgetrimmer is powered by a 600W electric motor and has 61cm double reciprocating blades.
The wider tooth spacing lets you tackle more established hedges with thicker stems and a guard protects the blades from damage should you accidentally hit a wall of fence.
This neat little hedgecutter costs £149, £10 off the recommended price and has a two-year warranty.
Delivery is the next working day and free.
The next one is a machine we helped to develop and is exclusive to MowDirect.
The Redback E522DQ-2Ah Cordless Hedgetrimmer uses lithium-ion battery power from a leading Japanese company to deliver cutting power equivalent to petrol engines but without the weight or fumes.
And these batteries hold their charge when not in use as well.
The machine has two 56cm dual reciprocating blades and has a rotating handle to help get into the difficult corners and shape hedge sides and tops.
It has a blade brake as well as a valuable safety feature.
The package includes the hedge trimmer, battery, charger and a power belt to hold the battery and costs £269 compared with the recommended price of £336.
And remember once you have the battery and charger you only need to buy the machine in future rather than the whole kit.
It is delivered free within seven days with a three-year warranty.
Once customer wrote to say: ‘Great performer. I have a lot of battery powered garden stuff. This is the first Redback product I have bought and it really is very good and better than the other brands.
‘I was surprised at the power from the battery and its duration. I used it for over 45 mins and it still had lots of life left. As a result, I may look at the other Redback items that run off these batteries.’
From the same stable, the Redback E920DQ-6Ah Cordless Pole-Hedgetrimmer has a 6Ah lithium-ion battery in the package to give bags of power to trim thick hedge stems.
It has a telescopic shaft and a 90-degree rotating cutter head to help get to the difficult corners and deal with unconventional shapes.
And you can do all this standing on the ground – no wobbling about on an unstable ladder.
It costs £379 compared with the recommended price of £486 and that includes the machine, battery, charger and power belt.
The cutter costs £149 if you already have a battery and charger from another Redback machine. Delivery is free within seven days with a three-year warranty.
One customer commented: ‘A Really Easy Trimmer to Manage with Great Battery Life. A first day of work with this trimmer, and it is well balanced, easy to use and effective.’
If you do prefer a petrol-powered machine for hedge tops this Japanese model has proved efficient and popular over the years.
The Mitox 26LH-SP SELECT Long-Reach Hedgetrimmer is 2.26 metres long and has 40cm double reciprocating blades.
The 24.5cc engine develops 1hp and is low on vibration levels and easy to start.
The shaft splits in two making storage and transport easier and it has an articulating cutting head which turns through 150 degrees with 12 settings.
It weighs 6.5kg and is easy to use and control.
The price is £159, £60 off the recommended price and we deliver it free the next working day with a one year warranty.
This next similar machine from the same stable is one designed with professional gardeners in mind.
The Mitox 5250LRK PRO Long-Reach Hedgetrimmer uses a 26.3cc Kawasaki engine which incorporates the maker’s Advanced Recoil System so that just a very light pull will fire it into action.
The overall length is two metres so that an average height user has a reach of up to 400cm.
The head turns through 135 degrees with 12 stages and it has a 52.5cm cutter bar.
It is fitted with an adjustable loop handle and has advanced vibration systems built in.
It costs £549, £50 off the recommended price and is delivered free of charge the next working day with a five-year warranty.
And this conventional hedgetrimmer is the one for owners of larger gardens and jobbing gardeners.
The Mitox 600DX Premium Petrol Hedgetrimmer has a 25.4cc engine producing 1.14hp and has been designed to start with just the lightest tug on the starter cord.
Dual reciprocating 61cm blades will cut through even the heaviest of hedge growth.
And weighing just 5.4kg with extensive vibration damping it is comfortable to use for longer periods without undue fatigue.
The rear twist grip handle has three positions to make it easier to trim difficult shapes and for working where space is restricted.
Delivered free the next working day with a five-year warranty it costs £159, £40 less than the recommended price.
And finally a couple of machines long time favourites with our customers.
The first is from a Japanese company increasingly the choice of the professional.
The Tanaka TCH22E-AP2 (50) Petrol Hedgetrimmer is the lightest in its class and has a 21.1cc engine using the company’s PureFire technology designed to minimise fuel consumption and emissions.
It is another easy starter, firing up with just a light pull on the starter rope and has two 50-cm reciprocating blades with a 30mm tooth gap so it can tackle thicker growth.
The rear handle twists through 180 degrees so you can tackle difficult shapes and can also be used by left-handers.
It costs £229, £60 off the recommended price and has a five-year warranty with free delivery the next working day.
One happy customer wrote: ‘Just What We Wanted. Speedy dispatch, well packaged. The machinery is great quality and excellent at hedges. My fiancée used this years ago and wanted another the same. Very happy*****’
And this one from a leading European in Italy is exclusive and just the job for extensive professional use. The Oleo-Mac HC280XP Heavy-Duty Petrol Hedgecutter has a 21.7cc engine producing 1hp made for demanding gardeners.
The air filter is easily cleaned and it has a manual fuel pump for fast starting when it’s cold.
It has been fitted with an advanced vibration damping system with rubber mounts and four steel springs and a 180-degree twisting rear handle to get to those difficult bits and yet it weighs only 5.8kg.
The double reciprocating blades are 75cm long and have a 35cm tooth gap so huge areas of think hedging can be cut in double quick time.
It costs £329, £140 off the maker’s recommended price and has a five-year warranty and free delivery the next working day.
See these pages for our wide list of hedge trimmers.
And a final plea to check the hedges before you trim to give nesting birds a chance,