Hedge and Garden Maintenance

No tranquil garden is complete without a beautiful array of hedges and shrubs, but keeping them in pristine condition requires expert maintenance. Our in-depth knowledge of each tree and plant means that we're able to tailor our pruning methods to suit each element of your garden.

Whether you're looking for a simple tidy of your beautiful plants or complex hedge shaping with topiary, we're here to help. We'll run through a full consultation with you before starting, completely free of charge, to help you create a garden space that can be enjoyed all year round.

How to care for and trim your Leylandii Conifer: Common Questions Answered

There are millions of Leylandii Conifer trees across the UK. Although they make for excellent hedging and offer a great 'privacy screen', they also require timely maintenance and routine trimming as a consequence of their exceptional growth rate. 

As your helpful and local Horsham tree surgeons, we've put together this article to outline the right care and maintenance your conifers will require to serve you well for years to come.

Conifer Trees are everywhere in the UK

People all across the UK love having Leylandii trees in their garden – in fact, according to statistics from only three years back, there were well over 55 million Leylandii trees across the entire nation. The number of Leylandii trees has risen significantly since then, which means that many people often call upon the expertise of a tree surgeon to provide them with the right care and maintenance. 

On average, Laylandiis can grow over 150ft, so they're something you'll want to keep on top of to prevent them from taking over! 

Leylandiis are great for many purposes, most commonly for the sake of hedging or to have better privacy around your house. Their reasonably fast growth means you need to maintain and trim them at fixed intervals so that they retain the same height and spread each year. We always suggest utilising a professional hedge cutting service to help prevent any issues and ensure a neat and tidy finish.

If you don't get your Leylandii pruned correctly, then you run the risk of running into unnecessary problems; including loss of space, poor ground conditions in the surrounding area, insufficient light coming into your home and even potential structural damage. 

Over 300,000 Leylandii trees are sold each year, and a significant amount of these are to replace existing trees and hedges that have taken over or died back due to improper maintenance. If managed properly, a well established and maintained Leylandii is something which can be a precious asset for homes and open spaces alike. 

As strange as it may sound, Leylandiis are the most planted, yet most hated hedge in Great Britain. They are naturally vigorous and robust, which means many people tend to use them as an 'ideal weapon' for getting back at annoying, inconsiderate or nosy neighbours. 

So as it turns out, they are not only ideal for gaining better privacy against prying eyes, but also as an acoustic barrier, helping to minimise any noise coming from nearby roads or highways. If appropriately managed by your local tree surgeon, the dense branches can absorb almost all unwanted and annoying sounds. 

What's the right Leylandii hedge trimming frequency?

If you ask any excellent hedge cutting service, they will tell you that all hedges, in general, require trimming at least once between a 12 to 18-month span. And it's not even that time-consuming, provided you find reliable "hedge cutters near me" as you search online.

 If you trim them more often than this, then your tree may exhibit signs of stress, as they require a certain timespan to regenerate and regrow. When a drought hits, Leylandii problems tend to surface – an excellent way to keep your Leylandii tree or hedge healthy is that when you notice 3-5in of new growth, then it's time to contact your hedge cutting West Sussex service.

How frequent should my Leylandii tree trimming be?

The frequency of trimming depends on where your tree is and what kind of aesthetics you're hoping to achieve. Generally speaking, a Leylandii tree can be safety trimmed and reduced in height once every 2-3 years. But if yours stands in a small garden where space is limited, and there isn't too much light – you can trim it once every 12-18 months to maintain their shape and shade potential. Just make sure that you're fully content with the spread and height of your tree. 

Leylandii conifer trees are capable of growing a good 3ft every year. In fact, in a matter of years, they reach heights which require the services of a professional tree surgeon in West Sussex. Don't attempt to do this on your own because working at height can be dangerous, and improper pruning techniques can cause brown patches which will cause your tree's leaves and branches to wither slowly. 

What time of year is good for trimming my Leylandii tree?

To avoid Leylandii related issues, the best time to trim is in spring or summer. Cutting at this time will give your tree enough time to regenerate and grow before the winter frost takes over. 

Therefore, mild weather is the best time to allow your tree to recover from pruning in a healthy and normal way. It's best to get trimming done late in the autumn season, especially in areas where Cypress aphids are active. 

Leylandiis that are pruned and cared for during the growing season will be naturally resistant to the havoc Cypress aphids are capable of wreaking.

Is it my or my neighbour's responsibility to prune the hedge?

If the hedge is on your property, then naturally, it's your responsibility. According to the 2003 Anti-social Behaviour Act, the local councils can take action against you, if your hedge grows to a certain height. E.g. where you're neighbour's view may get obstructed in terms of "reasonable enjoyment". 

So if you're growing your hedge for privacy's sake, that's fine. But if it grows over your neighbour's wall or interferes with their view (that in no way affects your privacy level), then you are responsible for trimming it. 

Furthermore, you are also responsible for compensating against any damage which may occur as a direct result of your hedge overgrowing. With that said, some neighbours might agree to maintain and trim the hedge that's growing on their side. 

All in all, it's a good idea to remain fair as far as the height of your Leylandii trees and hedges are concerned – particularly in a suburban area where space and light tend to be a limiting factor. 

What colours should the leaves of my Leylandii Confer tree be?

For most people, the logical answer is "green", apart from those glorious browns, golds and reds of the deciduous trees during autumn, of course. 

So here's what you should know: healthy trees will look bright green in spring and summer – but that sounds contradictory because a large number of coniferous trees look scraggly and brown. Conifers take on this appearance as a result of a poor pruning or trimming job carried out by an individual who is not well-versed or knowledgable in arboriculture. If this has happened to you, then hopefully, the damage isn't too severe, and Foremans Tree Specialists Leylandii pruning experts will do our best to restore it to its full former glory.

It's for this reason that it's so critical to hire an experienced tree surgeon or hedge cutting expert in West Sussex who fully understands the underlying makeup and biology of conifers.  

Reasons why Conifers should never be over-pruned

Healthy Leylandii Conifers grow green on the outside only since these are the youngest needles. If you look deeper and examine their inner foliage, you'll find that the older needles which hardly get any sunlight, have turned brown. They lose colour a lot faster than the youngest needles which are on the outside, directly exposed to the sun. And, because of turning brown, the older needles will eventually fall out. 

Here's a golden rule of thumb: a conifer should only be trimmed while sticking close to its green needles. If you cut too far in and start trimming/pruning the brown bits, then there's almost certainly no going back. 

Now, for the majority of trees, this may not be an issue as the leaves would grow right back, but when it comes to conifers, it can pose a major issue as the brown needles you've now exposed as a result of over-pruning will likely never turn green again or regrow. You'll be looking at an exposed and unsightly brown patch that will always remain as-is. 

Making matters worse is the fact, there are many "let's have a go and see what happens" cowboy "tree surgeons", and if you let them near your tree, there's a good chance they will trim the tree to the inner brown needles and assure you that they will regrow to a lovely green in the spring months. In reality, this rarely happens, leaving you with a brown ugly eyesore, wishing you'd called in a genuine arborist.

When the outer expanse of the conifer naturally grows with the passage of time, the inner brown area grows with it in an outward pattern. So, if you're planning to keep your trees at a specific width – to keep them from blocking walkways, walls or sunlight – then it's much better to maintain them frequently, as opposed to merely pruning them at a fixed length every once in a while. You see, the less you remove, the lower the chances are of exposing those dreaded brown patches. 

We advise you regularly maintain your conifers from a reasonably young age and if you don't feel confident, hire in a trained tree surgeon who'll be able to do what's best to ensure the health and aesthetics of your trees.  

Foremans Tree Specialists have many years of experience in pruning and trimming conifers and hedging in West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and across the south-east. With our arsenal of hi-tech equipment and tested techniques, we can tackle any sized hedge in even the most tricky location. 

Contact us today to discuss your conifer pruning or hedge cutting requirements, and we'll arrange a site visit, quotation and happily talk you through your options.