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If you are cutting 2/3 feet off a hedge, what is the best way?

I have some good petrol hedge trimmers, but it make be too thick for them. A relative has offered to buy a chain saw.

Not sure if I would use one often enough to warrent their purchase. They now come in electric and petrol versions.

What are your experiences?

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How long a hedge?  What plants?  Is it accessible?

 

I've only got one working arm (and it's my non-dominant arm that works) so things like hedge trimmers are impossible for me, let alone chainsaws.  This means that when I decided that the hedge at my old house needed to stop being enormous, I had to get a bit creative.

 

If the hedge is something like privet, which will sprout again from brown wood given a bit of time then it's perfectly possible to draw a line down your hedge with chalk and then just take some time with a pair of ratchet secateurs cutting one stem at a time all the way along the line and through the depth of your hedge.

 

Yes, it takes a lot of time, but it works.  I know because I did it.  Just me, by myself, and the only cost was a pair of £15 ratchet secateurs and a little hacksaw for the half a dozen stems that were too big for the secateurs.  Note of caution BTW- my hedge wasn't huge and was all of about 20 feet long, but the bits cut off filled my 7 seater twice over to go to the tip, and I was removing spiders from the inside of the car for months afterwards.

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After thinking about it, the height we want is rather high, although If cut it at 5' and let it grow to 6' that might work.

Its a long hedge, but its just one section of around15' that needs cutting

 

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Please please ensure there are no nesting birds before you go ahead 😊

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The diameter of the thickest 'branches' is going to determine which tool(s) to use.

For example, in the majority of cases when I cut  Leylandii,  all I need to use is a good quality electric hedge trimmer. Preferably with a long reach that spans the depth of the hedge.

The lower a hedge is cut, the greater the chance of needing to get the tree loppers out.  Mine will cut through a 25mm diameter piece for example. But even then, it's only very occasionally  loppers are needed, unless a hedge  has been neglected.

If a hedge has been neglected for quite a long time, and has areas that need more than loppers, there is a simple solution.  This is the humble bow saw. It will go through 50mm easily.  Not as fast as a chain saw but also not as expensive and noisy, and it's  hassle free. It's much safer to use too. Pick one up at Tool station. You only need a shortish length-about 24", as it will be easier to use on a hedge.

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A chain saw would be overkill really. A good pair of loppers and a pruning saw is the way to go.

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