Hedges in August need our attention! Once the blooms on your evergreen flowering shrubs are over you will need to adopt proper pruning methods. That’s if you want your shrubs to look their best again next year, especially as regular pruning will help to keep your hedges in good growing order.
Formal or Informal?
If your hedge is well established it will only need a little attention maintenance pruning and this is generally carried out in the summer. The next thing to bear in mind is whether your hedge is formal or informal. If informal, it will probably only require a little snip here and there during the growing season. For formal hedges and topiary it will require regular attention to keep it to the shape you want.
Box, Yew, Privet & Holly
Generally box and privet you can clip away quite happily all summer, while with holly it is generally only once. With yew, again you can snip away quite happily most of the summer into the autumn months. Quite simply, it’s a myth that they grow slowly! However, we are talking about light clippings here not heavy pruning, which needs to be done earlier in the year – spring is best.
Hornbeam, hawthorne and beech hedges are late summer pruning jobs. It is important to remember to be careful with conifers because if you prune back too hard during the summer you are likely to be left with bare branches. Leylandii cypress, as we well know grows quickly and needs cutting back regularly to keep it under control.
When thinking about pruning if you remember the spring is generally about pruning back harder to cut to the shape you want your hedge and the summer is all about maintenance pruning.
One very important thing to remember before you undertake any pruning in August is you need to be very careful about any remaining nesting birds. Generally speaking August is a safe month as most nesting is over by the end of July. But do check! If in any doubt about what to prune, the easiest way to remember is that generally speaking, if it’s evergreen it can be pruned in the summer.