Deluxe Hedge Pruning - A Touch Too Much?

Skeena(7 BC)December 16, 2013

Each Fall season I tackle my hedge trimming chores, armed only with clippers and hand-shears. I've had many helpful hints about power shears, but they don't do as precise a job.

As to the title of this post, what I've done is taken the principle of shearing into a basic cone shape, and applied that to the Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' trees in my border. Each one is shaped slightly differently on top, and I've tried to create a look of individual trees in the hedge, rather than the typical uniform style people create.

Here are a couple pre-trim pictures:

The idea is to create a natural look as a background for your conifer display. Here are a few shots of the finished product:

Like I said, there have been some critics who think it's a bit of an over-kill. So this is intended for a those who might appreciate the end result. Does anyone else use a similar style?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Like I said, there have been some critics who think it's a bit of an over-kill.

==>>> critics .. schmitics.... you appear to be having the time of your life ... ignore them ...

that sedum looks awful lonely out there.. lol..

great job... regardless of result... which is fine.. i am impressed with the effort ...

would i do it??? ... probably not ... with the 5 acres.. i dont have to plant that close ... so there is no need ...

keep up God's work .... congrats .. glad you found us ...

ken

ps: all by hand shears???.. crikey .. thats devotion ....

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 6:56AM
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unprofessional(5)

They look great; do with them what you like.

Show more of your beds - it looks like you have some good design going on.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 8:24AM
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alley_cat_gw

Skeena, Very nice for your style of gardening. The end result is very formal, neat and attractive looking. What are the blue cultivars you have mixed into the hedge along with the arbs?
Over all.... your gardens look real impressive. Please give us another tour with more photos.

Thanks
Al

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 9:32AM
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davesconifers

Skenna,

Thanks for posting photos of your beautiful garden and the specialized work it takes to bring about the look you want.

The hand shears are best suited for the precision work that your after.

I am also impressed with the good balance of color and design you have achieved.

Dave

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Skeena(7 BC)

You make an excellent point Ken, my backyard has only 10% of the space your acreage affords. So it's going to take more effort for a natural look, plus we need to block out the adjacent properties.

Alley Cat, those are Taxus x media 'Hicksii' added to the border. Originally we'd planted maples in between, but it wasn't working for me. I'm adding a few more pictures to this thread since you and unprofessional are giving me the chance to showcase a couple beds - sorry folks!

Thanks for the kind comments Dave, you've seen a lot of these conifer gardens, so I appreciate that.

Part of my side border path.

A small bed featuring Juniperus procumbens 'Nana', Cedrus deodara 'Aurea' (possibly 'Aurea Robusta'), a high-grafted Picea glauca 'Pendula', and a couple Japanese Maples.

My hedge trimming ways began with these two Thuja occidentalis 'Rheingold' plants, bought as 1 gallons some 8 years ago.

This pair of Taxus baccata 'Standishii' work well together for the short term.

Just a typical Picea abies 'Pendula' put to good use.

Enjoy, Tim.

This post was edited by Skeena on Sat, Dec 21, 13 at 13:43

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 2:14PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Very nice, Tim. Thanks for posting...and welcome. Just like its your garden, its also your thread, so post as many pix as you'd like.

tj

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 2:23PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey will ... ffboy ... lol ... now these pix reflect the prefect amount of grass... dont you think ... just enough for a walkway ... lol ..

and the edging is sublime ....

OMG!!!! ... again.. a sedum as the only large non-conifer ... whoa there .. dont get carried away with too many large sedum ... rotflmbo ....

ken

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 3:04PM
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unprofessional(5)

Those are some primo beds. Great work - glad you're sharing!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 5:29PM
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zephyrgal(8 NW Oregon)

Lovely, just beautiful. Thanks for posting. Please share more.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 5:49PM
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sluice

Nice! Thanks for the tour.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Skeena(7 BC)

This is my first thread and photo additions, so it's nice to get a tip tsugajunkie. Over time I hope to figure out the forum etiquette as far as posting pictures goes.

Since I'm just a beginner at this, it's probably not wise to use up all my pictures at once :).

There is one hedgerow that isn't trimmed, where I'm trying to screen out the neighbors. I'll add this for zephyrgal, a view of the Cedrus deodara 'Snow Sprite' which seems to enjoy living back there in the partial shade.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 11:05PM
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zephyrgal(8 NW Oregon)

Thanks Tim. I'm sure all of us here would welcome more photos. Your layouts are stellar!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 12:15AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

I like it! Lotsa color.
Mike

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 2:21AM
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alley_cat_gw

I new the first round of photos was just the ' tip of the iceberg'.
Kudos Tim......very nicely done...your hard work shows!

Al

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 10:07AM
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j0nd03

"This is my first thread and photo additions, so it's nice to get a tip tsugajunkie. Over time I hope to figure out the forum etiquette as far as posting pictures goes. "

The etiquette with an outstanding garden such as your garden is goes something like this: If you have nice pics, post them all. Now go out and take more pics - you can wait until you move things or get new plants but that is not a requirement. Now post the new pics you just took. Rinse, lather and repeat =)

Your garden is 10/10, don't hold back on the pics!

John

Forgot to add - withholding stellar garden pics in the middle of winter when we get bored looking at our own gardens is a bannable offense ;-)

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 14:01

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 1:59PM
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maple_grove_gw

Very nice! Thanks for sharing the lovely photos of your garden.

As to whether there's too much pruning involved, the only person who can speak to that is you. I'd say it looks fantastic.

Alex

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Jon

If I take your statement that your plot is 1/10th the size of Ken's 5 acres literally, this would mean that you have taken a large arboretum and put it into a 1/2 acre site and have done it without having it look crowded. It is spectacular.

Jon.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 3:36PM
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greendale(6B)

May I ask what are the accompany plants on the first photo of your second set of pictures. The one looks like tall grass with red leaves(it appears on your sec pic in the same group too) and the one with red and dark purple foliage(appears on the 3rd pic in the same group too)? Love the color contrast, thanks a lot

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 9:22PM
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Skeena(7 BC)

Thanks for the encouragement j0nd03, looking at conifer photos is never boring. This site is a great place to find new material, so it's nice too finally add some of my own.

Most homeowners seek low-maintenance landscaping, and in their minds think it means a no-maintenance kind of deal. We share the same sentiment maple grove, in our own backyards going the extra mile is a personal choice.

There's a lot of farms and nurseries in the area, but we live in a subdivision, so you guessed it johhnyb023, only 1/2 an acre for our lot. I'm a surveyor by trade, which allowed me to design and layout our gardens starting from scratch.

Thanks everyone for the compliments, I admit it does pump me up when people get excited about my garden, but a big part of that is finding a common bond with fellow enthusiasts.

Here are a few more shots from my Fall 2013 set:

Juniperus conferta 'All Gold' and Berberis thunbergii 'Concorde' are the backdrop for this Picea pungens 'Mrs. Cesarini'

Larix kaempferi 'Blue Dwarf'

Larix laricina "Blue Sparkler' next to another Cedrus deodara 'Snow Sprite'

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Kosteri', and Pinus mugo 'Pot of Gold' in oak barrels, with a pair of Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira's in the background.

This post was edited by Skeena on Sat, Dec 21, 13 at 13:45

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 10:39PM
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Skeena(7 BC)

Hi greendale, the first plant is Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron'). The second is Berberis Concorde, nice and purple. No need to touch up the photos, those plants practically glow at the end of the season :).

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 10:57PM
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j0nd03

Gorgeous!!!!!!!! One of the very few gardens that reminds me of MikeBotann's garden in the fall (that is a VERY good thing)!

Thanks again for sharing =D

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 8:21AM
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greendale(6B)

Thank you. I guessed it is Japanese barberry. But most Japanese barberries I saw here are with much duller color, maybe they are not the same cultivar.?
Love your Japanese maples too, with so many different trees and plants, your garden still look neat and well maintained, how did you do that?:) I will add these two plants on my list for spring:)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Conifer-Rick(7)

Excellent work Tim. Your garden is a work of art.
Thanks for all of the colorful pix.
- Rick

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Conifer-Rick(7)

Excellent work Tim. Your garden is a work of art.
Thanks for all of the colorful pix.
- Rick

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 8:24PM
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bobarian68

Stunningâ¦no other way for me to describe it.I just moved to a house with 1.5 acres, flat, and virtually nothing here yet.A blank canvasâ¦.so to speak.One side of the property is almost 500 feet long, which borders the neighbor.My main goal is to line the property with conifers(various types).In my research, i have settled on a decent variety of conifers,and my task is to create a natural landscape on the perimeter with large growing evergreens, with some deciduous mixed in.Then, in front of the larger evergreens, i intend to create with a lot of various cultivars and color.Honestly, a daunting task.I love color, especially year round, so evergreen is the main choice.Blues/reds/yellows, etc.
Thanks for the photos, your landscape is inspiring.Now i just have to find how to get ahold of some interesting cultivars!I live in Long Island ,NY.Thanks again!
Bob

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 7:33PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Probably what they were talking about is that shearing the background plants individually emphasizes them, like highlighting them with a marker, so that they then become specimens rather than like boards in a fence, that blend together - the background is now part of the foreground.

Except the main beds are informal and the background is a straight line, producing a conflict of tone when the background specimens are made to stand out with shearing.

With British mixed borders bursting with often loose or fluffy looking perennials and shrubs they use a crisp sheared hedge or rectilinear wall behind to form a contrast with the plants in the border, introduce a solid and tidy note. Since your whole scheme is mostly conifers that row at the back may not be needed.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 4:31PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Wow, I didn't open this thread because of the title, sure glad I did!

As Jon said, these pics sure are welcome this time of year.

Stunning, thanks for taking the time to share.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 7:03PM
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