Help with hedge trimming.

A new client calls and they are right on a down town section of a main street. In front of their property are all these shrubs that need trimming. You are not too comfortable with your hedge trimming skills, so what do you do? That is the situation one entrepreneur found himself in as he asked for help on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum on how he should go about taking on such a project.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I got a new landscaping client and she has got a ton of hedge trimming to do that is pretty detailed. It is more detailed than I am used to doing. She knows I’m fairly unskilled at this type of trimming but she’s a family friend and o.k. with me giving it a shot. Here are some shrubs she wants shaped into soccer ball sized balls. These are a lot bigger than soccer balls and not in the same shape as a ball at all.

Any and all advice would be awesome. This can be a good account for me. It’s on a main road and if I do a good job a lot of people will see it. It’s also at a hair salon so the women will be talking. I don’t want to mess this up and definitely want to do a great job.

The client said that she was ok with the bushes being browned from lack of greenage after trimming but I’m not going to trim them back too far. She also said I can remove a few to open them up more but I’ll make those decisions as I go. There are a few of these junipers through out so I’ll definitely start on the hidden ones until I get a good flow going.

hedge-trimming-before-1I was trying to figure out the best tool to use too. I spent like a $1,000 on two new trimmers this year and go figure, I can’t use them on these. I’m down for trying the old fashioned shear idea but I was maybe thinking of going with a very small trimmer maybe a battery powered one from a local big box store. I know they might be crappy but they might just do the job.

hedge-trimming-after-11Here are some before and after pictures of the work I did there. Tips and pointers along with any comments would be greatly appreciated.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “I would suggest using manual hedge clippers. I know it sounds old fashioned, but you’ll get a lot better cut because you are FORCED to go slower and take your time. Also, it takes just one bad move with powered clippers to ruin the bush. With it being so fragile as to the shape, take it slow and easy.

Those look like junipers. After having been left to grow to that size, I don’t see ’soccer balls’ happening. What people want and what they can have are often not the same thing.

I’d suggest shape them up, but I don’t see them being made that small. You could always try one that’s not as noticeable first, but I would instead try for shaping.”

A third shared “I would shape them the best I could, without taking so much off as to kill the shrub. I suggest telling the client that you cannot take them down as much as she wants in one visit, as they will probably die. Tell her when they fill out again, you will cut them some more. It will take 3 or 4 visits to get them to the size she wants. I do agree that unless you have a lot of experience with hedge trimmers you should use shears. It is a lot slower but you have so much more control over how much you cut and the shape you get.”

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