How to trim a privet hedge

How to trim a privet hedge

Sure, you can hire someone to trim your privet hedge, but there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself with a little knowledge and preparation. Deirdre Lord, fellow homeowner and energy expert, treated us to a how-to video on how to trim your privet hedge. Below, she answers more questions about how to trim a privet hedge regarding equipment, the time it takes, and handy tips to make the job go smoothly and safely.

1. What equipment do you need?

You need a hedge trimmer. The size of the hedge trimmer will depend on the size of your hedge. The bigger the hedge, the larger the trimmer! You need resin spray. The resin spray keeps the hedge clippings and resin from accumulating on the blade of the trimmer. You need to spray every few trims to keep the trimmer working well. You need an extension cord to connect to the trimmer. We have a 100 ft extension cord so that we can plug the trimmer in at the house and then trim the surrounding privet.
If your hedge is tall, you need a ladder and, ideally, a friend to help steady the ladder and, perhaps, rake and clean up the trimmings. We take turns because the trimmer is heavy (it’s a workout too!) So when one person gets tired, we trade.
You need a rake and a wheelbarrow to collect the trimmings so that they can be composted or dumped somewhere else. You do not want old clippings sitting on the top of your hedge.

2. How long does it take to trim a privet hedge?

Our hedge surrounds about half of a .5 acre lot. Our hedge took about 7 hours to clip (with 2 of us working). I would say it is about a 10 hour job for one person to do a .25 acre lot.

3. What are some important tips?                                

Pace yourself. The clipper is heavy and can be awkward. Don’t expect to do all of your hedge in one day, particularly if you have a lot of privet to trim.
You do not want old clippings sitting on the top of your hedge. Use a rake to get them to the ground so you can collect them.
SAFETY FIRST! These are dangerous machines… very sharp. There are built in safety measures (i.e. you have to hold down a button and grasp the front of the trimmer in order for it to activate). But nevertheless ALWAYS be aware: Aware of your surroundings, aware of nearby pets, people, children. Be aware of the position of the extension cord that you’re using– I cut through the extension cord the first time I did this myself. Keep safety in mind, wear gloves, heavy boots and jeans and you’ll be fine. Also, I am left handed. Naturally, these machines are not made for lefties. Left-handed people needed to be extra aware of the equipment they’re using.