Cutting hedges in February: Why pruning is important now

House and garden
Cutting hedges in autumn: Why pruning is important now

Cut hedges, but do it correctly: In Germany, pruning is only permitted between October and February.

© Lya_Cattel/Getty Images

Cutting hedges is the art of gardeners and homeowners. Privet and Co. provide privacy protection but are also the habitat of many animals. You can read the most important rules and which hedge trimmers are best for trimming in this article.

Hedges serve as property owners Privacy protection from curious passers-by. In most allotment garden settlements, they limit the paths and visually enhance each individual plot. Even in landscape parks, the densely growing shrubs primarily set visual accents. But hedges are not a fancy replacement for fences, they serve as a habitat for many animals. For this reason, there are a few things to consider when trimming hedges. In the following article you will find out what these are, when hedge trimming is strictly prohibited and why hedges in allotment gardens must not exceed a certain height.

1. When can I trim my hedge?

Without restrictions, homeowners and allotment gardeners in Germany are only allowed to trim their hedges from October 1st to the end of February. The reason: Between March and September, some native bird species use the densely growing hedge plants as protection in order to initially build a nest undisturbed by humans and predators and later raise their young in it. The closure times can be found in Section 39 Paragraph 5 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG). Accordingly, it is strictly forbidden to use a hedge during this period Hedge trimmer “to put it on the stick” – i.e. to trim it to about 20 centimeters above the ground. In this case, birds and other animals that have sought shelter in this hedge would have to look for a new home. From March 1st, hedge trimmers are taboo. Exception: gentle shaping and care cuts. Anyone caught illegally trimming will face a fine.

2. Cutting hedges: Which scissors are there?

Hedges are usually trimmed with hedge trimmers. The quickest and most efficient way to do this is with the electric version. Models that are powered by a battery are somewhat more practical, but also a few euros more expensive. This is usually not included in the scope of delivery of the hedge trimmer, nor is the corresponding charger. If you don’t have a problem with tangled cables and have a power connection, you can confidently use the wired and slightly cheaper version. There’s a cable model from Makita here. Cutting hedges with classic hedge trimmers is much more laborious and time-consuming. At the same time you do something for your beach body. Thanks to the serrated edge, you can work even more precisely than with the electric models. The “old school” hedge trimmer also has the great advantage that it can also be used on Sundays without any problems. A classic hedge trimmer from Gardena is available here.

A current one Hedge trimmer comparison read here.

3. Which plants are suitable as hedge plants?

The following six hedge plants are most common in Germany:

  • Black-green privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
  • Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
  • Yew (Taxus baccata)
  • Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)
  • Western tree of life (Thuja occidentalis)
  • Evergreen holly (Ilex aquifolium)

4. How high can a hedge actually be?

For property owners, especially those who live directly on a street, hedges primarily serve as a privacy screen. The motto: The higher, the better. After all, who likes to have their plate looked at during Sunday breakfast? Allotment gardeners, on the other hand, cannot let their hedges sprout at their own discretion. According to official garden regulations, privacy screens in allotment gardens may not be higher than 1.50 meters. In some cases, only 1.10 meters are permitted for the so-called external enclosures. Exceptions apply to hedges on busy streets or parking lots. If in doubt, it helps to take a look at the allotment garden association’s statutes. Why is the height of hedges regulated? Plots in allotment garden associations are usually leased comparatively cheaply. They are considered green spaces that are accessible to the general public. That doesn’t mean that there is free access for everyone, but a clear view should be guaranteed – even for little people. The premise: Everyone should be able to see the flowering fruit trees, meticulously landscaped borders and the vegetables grown.

5. Cutting the hedge: What else needs to be taken into account?

Many allotment gardeners spend a lot of time caring for their hedges. But only a few take an important principle to heart. Because hedges should be cut conically, i.e. be slightly narrower towards the top. The reason is very simple. The lower branches receive significantly less light when cut straight. In the worst case, they become bald or wither. Therefore, the base of every hedge should be about 20 to 30 centimeters wider than the top. Add an additional layer of mulch to the ground under the hedge. This promotes the nutrient balance and delights numerous microorganisms.

Sources: “My beautiful garden”

You might also be interested in:

This article contains so-called affiliate links. Further information are available here.

source site