Our Hedge Reduction Or Removal Service

A large hedge after reduction, which involved reducing both the height and width.

What is a hedge reduction?

Hedge reductions are different from a hedge trim. A hedge reduction is the renovation of a hedge that has overgrown the space available, a hedge can be reduced in two ways; in both height and in width and will usually require several visits over a period of time to achieve the desired size and shape.

A hedge trim is the maintenance cut required for a well-established and maintained hedge, removed new growth but not cutting back any old growth.

Reasons to reduce a hedge

Reducing a hedge in height or width can allow more light to enter your garden space, the increased light in your garden will benefit other parts of your garden.

A large, overgrown hedge can shade other plants which can limit their growth and productivity, an overgrown hedge is also thirsty and sucks the moisture from the surrounding soil, giving an extended area that is hard to grow other plants in.

A further reason to reduce a hedge is for the health of the plant itself. When a hedge appears sparse and is struggling to grow, reducing it can help massively. When the hedge is reduced it encourages fresh growth which will rejuvenate the hedge.

When should a hedge be reduced?

The best time of year for reducing hedges varies, Deciduous hedges ideally should be cut back in autumn and winter unless the particular species do not like to be pruned when the weather is cold.

Evergreen hedges are best reduced from mid-spring onwards and over the summer months, this is due to them responding better when the risk of frost has gone and there is active growth.

Hedges are popular nesting sites for our garden birds and so reducing hedges in the nesting season is not an ideal solution. Andrews Arboriculture prides itself in working with wildlife and the environment and so we will not severely prune any hedges that contain nests or expose nests to the elements by cutting around them. We will always thoroughly check hedges for nests before agreeing to carry out any work. The Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 states that is an offence to intentionally damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built.

How should a hedge be reduced?

It is worth noting that if the reduction of the hedge required is drastic (more than 50% of the height or width) it is better to stagger this over two or three years.

For example; In the first year reduce back one side of the hedge and trim the top and opposite side as normal.

During the second year’s reduction reduce the opposite side to the former year, trimming the top and another side as normal.

In the third year reduce the top of the hedge and trim the sides to a normal standard.

It is important to leave a full year’s growth for recovery and to water well during the growing season after reduction.

Hedge Removal

Sometimes a hedge becomes too large or diseased for a reduction and the only option is for total removal. This can be the case more for conifer hedges, such as leylandii, which do not regrow when reduced back to old wood. This is not so bad if the height is reduced but will be unsightly if the sides are reduced back too far.

The total removal of a large hedge, especially an overgrown hedge will produce a vast amount of bulky waste, usually processed with a shredder and may possibly need a stump grinder for removal of the stumps, all of which can be completed by an experienced arborist such as Andrews Arboriculture.

Once the hedge has been removed then it can be replaced with another hedge or by fencing.

Why you should seek help from a professional arborist

A hedge reduction or removal can be a large project to take on, they often involve working at height and require specialist equipment i.e. large ladders, extension hedge trimmers, and often chainsaws.

A qualified tree surgeon will be competent and qualified to use the necessary equipment safely and proficiently, meaning they will complete the project quicker.

To avoid injury and accidents it is important to have hedge reductions or removal carried out by professional arborists who offer hedge cutting services where possible, to ensure the hedge is reduced appropriately in the safest way possible.

Sometimes precautions have to be put in place to ensure the safety of the general public and of course, a qualified tree surgeon will have the necessary insurance if the worst was to happen and damage or injury was caused.

Hedge reductions or removal can also produce a considerable amount of bulky waste which can be dealt with in a number of ways. If the hedge owner has space to store the waste and then the handle disposal themselves we are happy to enable this. The majority of clients do not have space or the time to deal with such large amounts of green waste so Andrews Arboriculture can shred the material and either leave it for use on-site, possibly as a mulch or remove it from the site if necessary.

If you want to discuss a hedge reduction or removal please call Andrew at Andrews Arboriculture on 07445811529 or 01493 719598.