Hedges can either be an excellent addition to the “curb appeal” of your home, or a frustrating part of your yard care. You may opt to invest in native hedges or ornamental hedges – whatever matches your gardening tastes. Some hedges can be a wonderful addition to your garden fence for screening or visual displays of green. The hedges themselves don’t usually make the difference, it’s often the tools that you use to keep them looking their best.
There are three main options when it comes to keeping your hedges trimmed well, and only you can decide which one is the choice that makes the most sense for you and your yard. Always keep safety at the forefront of your mind and dress appropriately for suburban gardening.
This is the old-fashioned option for trimming your hedges, and they can be a good choice if you have only a few hedges that need attention. Shears are often the most labor-intensive method of hedge trimming so it might not be the best option for those who have several hedges, or even just a few hedges of larger size.
Choosing to upgrade from hand-powered shears is a matter of time and effort; if your hedges take more time than you want to give, it could be time for an upgrade to a powered trimmer.
Gas Powered Trimmers
In terms of versatility, a gas-powered trimmer is usually the king. These trimmers are driven by a gas engine, giving them the power to handle almost any job you need to be done. Unlike electric versions, there are no concerns about outlets and extension cords to consider; a gas-powered trimmer goes wherever you need it to and can usually do the job that requires doing when you get there.
That doesn’t mean this is always the best option. Most commercial lawn care businesses use gas-powered trimmers because of their need for the “goes anywhere, trims everything” flexibility they offer, but there are downsides for those who may not need those advantages for their own yard.
Gas hedge trimmers are loud compared to electric models, and while they’re powerful and versatile, those benefits come with the price of gasoline and effort. A gas trimmer will need to be cranked (usually with a pull-cord) and can require maintenance at times.
If you have a larger yard or many thick hedges to trim and you aren’t afraid of occasionally changing filters and a spark plug, a gas trimmer would be a good choice. One final downside to gas trimmers, though, since a full engine is included, they’re noticeably heavier than an electric trimmer.
For most people looking for a better option than shears to keep their hedges looking great, this is the option to choose. An electric trimmer is quieter, especially when compared to a gas trimmer, yet still gets the job done.
Also, the electric motor is much lighter than a combustion engine, making an electric trimmer easier to use and less tiring over time.
Another plus for those who buy an electric trimmer is that they’ll be paying less. Gas trimmers are more expensive than electric models in almost every case.
There are two different types of electric trimmers: corded and cordless. A corded trimmer is precisely what it sounds like; to operate, it must be plugged into a wall outlet, and you can only use it within the range of your extension cord.
Cordless trimmers give you the same portability advantage of a gas trimmer in a lighter package. This means that you can roam your entire yard to trim every hedge you need to until the battery runs out at least. This is another downside to a cordless trimmer, as charging a battery takes longer than it does to refill a fuel tank, keeping your trimmer out of operation for a longer period once the battery is drained.
The final disadvantage of electric trimmers is power. For light trimming, an electric trimmer is the way to go. If you have heavier trimming to do, though, the power of a gas trimmer may serve you better.
If you’ve never had a hedge trimmer, the lower price point of an electric trimmer is an excellent place to start. For most, one of these is enough to do everything they need to do. If you find that you need more power, you can always upgrade to a more powerful gas-powered trimmer later.
If you’re looking to remove some higher harder to reach greenery, we recommend you look at investing in a pole saw. We have some reviews of the best pole saws which we’ve already researched – have a look!