What type of hedge is this and what hedgetrimmer can I use to trim it?
November 26, 2012 1:55 PM   Subscribe

What type of hedge is this and what hedgetrimmer can I use to trim it?

There is a hedge outside my parents house which grows at an extremely fast rate during the summer months, and it's my job at the end of summer to cut it with a pair of shears.
Obviously this is a laborious task which isn't the end of the world however if I could use a hedgetrimmer that would be great.
My parents seem to hold the hedge in some sort of magical regard where no hedgetrimmer anyone has ever tried to use on it has worked, and it's a one off toughest hedge in the world etc. To be fair just passed the greenery there is what is essentially a bunch of quite strong branches which are very resistent to shears.

So yeah here is a couple of photos (before and after).

My question is a) what type of hedge is this and b) what type of hedgetrimmer should I use? Would it be worth buying or renting one? If i'm buying one how much should I be spending?
Some bits of the hedge grow at a faster rate than others, so i'd like to get it so it's all the same level as well.

posted by rinsemedown to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Looks like a yew hedge. Does it get bright red berries on it in late summer/autumn?
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:08 PM on November 26, 2012

I agree it's a yew. I would own an electric hedgetrimmer if that were my hedge. In fact, I used to have one like that, and used an electric trimmer. After you trim it midsummer, don't trim again — you don't want to trim and encourage new growth in the fall, because frost will kill the young shoots. Here is a picture of allegedly the oldest yew hedge in the world.
posted by beagle at 2:12 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Although I am not enough of a horticulturalist to identify the hedge, it does appear to be something from the Cypress or Thuja family...maybe. A power hedge shear such as this one should be sufficient. You may find that rental house have much more expensive trimmers available which will make for a better, faster job and for a lot less outlay.

I do have a suggestion and that is to slowly trim the hedge into a mildly trapezoidal shape—with the base/bottom wider, thicker, than the top—rather than round. This allows the bottom of the hedge to receive sunlight and helps the hedge from becoming "leggy" where the bottom becomes spindly and sparse from lack of light.
posted by bz at 2:13 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

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