Shaping the Most Common Hedge Types

Hedges are great for adding privacy and beauty to your home. But if they're not properly maintained, they can become overgrown and unruly. Shaping your hedge is an important part of keeping it looking its best. And with the right tools, it's not as difficult as you think.

The first step is choosing the right hedge trimmer. There are many different types on the market, so select one that will work best for your particular hedge. Once you have the right trimmer, you're ready to start shaping your hedge.

Here are some hedge types and how to shape them:

Straight Edge

You are likely to see a hedge type with straight edges in the UK. They are often called formal hedges, usually used to define property boundaries. Giving your hedges this shape is simple.

Smaller hedges can be cut by the eye using a hedge trimmer. Stop periodically to stand back and check if the hedge is straight.

For larger hedges, you need to hammer two stakes on the ground at either end of the hedge. Then, tie a string at the height you want and pull it taut, creating a straight line. This will be the cutting guide to ensure that it is even.

Perfect Curves

If you want to add some curves to your hedge, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you must ensure that the curves are gentle and not too sharp. Secondly, you need to ensure that the hedge is slightly wider at the curve's base than at the top.

To create a curve:

  1. Start by trimming the hedge to the desired width at the curve's base.
  2. Slowly and gently follow the curve around, keeping the hedge nice and wide.
  3. Once you reach the top of the curve, taper the hedge so that it is slightly narrower.

Square Hedge

The process of cutting a square is like creating a straight line. Use a string pulled taut between two garden canes to make a flat top using a hedge trimmer. Do this in a straight, sweeping movement.

For the flat sides, do the same method of using garden canes as a guide to ensure they stand up perfectly straight. Move your hedge cutter up the hedge base aligning it well with the canes for a flat surface.


If you have a hedge that you would like to shape into a spiral, there are various things you need to do to achieve the perfect look. First, ensure that your hedge is in the right shape. Start by trimming it into a cone shape with the base as the widest point. Do this by locating the central growth point at the top of your hedge and working away and down to achieve the cone shape. If your hedge looks a bit thin, give it some time to grow before returning to create the spiral shape.

Once you have the basic cone shape, you can start mapping out where you would like the spiral to go. Using a piece of string, mark out the location of the spiral on the hedge. Starting at the top of the hedge, wind the string around in a spiral pattern until you reach the bottom.

Following the tips in this article can achieve professional-looking results without spending much money.

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