Friday 17 May 2019

Cutting hedge technology

There's a big hedge at our place, long and deep, going around the main parts of the garden.   It's a bitch to trim, and I've been doing nothing but that for the last three days.  It's finished now.  Next trim - Autumn.

I have a fair amont of kit to help with the job: a scaffolding set with wheels, and three hedge trimmers: a mains-electric-powered one with a long pole, one battery-powered and one 2-stroke.   The 2-stroke one is heavy, loud and smelly but powerful, the battery one is quieter and lighter but weak.  The electric long pole is heavy, quiet and powerful and necessary for cutting across the top of the hedge.

I'm thinking that it might be time to combine the benefits of lightness and power and get a small, mains-electric-powered trimmer.   It's the lightest you can get since the trimmer only houses the motor and not the fuel as well, and a mains -powered 600Watt one should be powerful enough, quiet and light.  The mains cable won't be a problem because it'll be out and in use anyway for the long throw one, and I'm getting tired of coming in smelling of 2-stroke fumes, or breathing them in, come to that.

I have thought about the possibility that a small tractor with hedge trimmer would be a good idea.  I'd really love to be able to drive it along the two sides of the hedge, trimming as I go.  The job would be done in an hour max, but it's not actually possible to do that - there are trees, shrubs and piles of firewood in the way.   That ground is also far from level, so I'd end up with an undulating top to the hedge, something that I try to avoid.

You can see part of the finished hedge in the pic below.  I used to be a bit more fastidious about getting it straight, flat and horizontal but these days I'm just up for taming the beast.   I left the trimming so late one year that the hedge flopped over a gap in it, so I'm trying to make an arched tunnel.  It's early days, but it looks like it will come to fruition in a few years.  And who doesn't like spooky tunnels?


CherryPie said...

We have a hedge that borders our garden and the bridle path beyond it. The previous occupants of our house put up a fence in front of it.

According to our house deeds the hedge is the boundary of our property and our responsibility to maintain. When we first moved in we did chop the hedge back on the bridle path side. But for many years the council have driven up the bridle path with a hedge trimmer giving the hedge a short top and sides (that side of course is the boundary of their property ;-). All that remains is for us to trim back the slight overhang over our fence.

It is a shame that the small tractor with hedge trimmer option will not work for you.

Mark In Mayenne said...

I'll have to look into the tractor thing in a bit more detail. If I can find a cutter that will do the whole top of the hedge (not just a half-width) then as long as the tractor can get to one side or the other, that will work. I think I can get to at least one side everywhere along its length.

Sackerson said...

Good title.

CherryPie said...

I am not sure of the width of your hedge. You can see in the photo the cutter was trimming the top and side of both hedges that face the bridle path at the back of my garden.

Mark In Mayenne said...

Thanks for the link Cherie, I've seen things like that around here. I think they need a big tractor to lift and manage them, but look very manoeuverable.

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