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Long Reach Hedge Trimmer

Hello everyone, first post!

Wondering if anyone could give some advice. I have a large laurel hedge in my garden which the previous tenants obviously didn't ever cut. I must admit when I moved in last year I didn't either. I didn't have the time, nor money to buy the tools to do the job. I was mainly concentrating on getting the garden cut back as it was in a right mess 

This coming year im going to have to get some sort of long reach trimmer as it needs to be done! Any recommendations? I know you can get some good electric ones these days from Stihl and husqvarna, but they are super expensive, would cheaper options do the job on a hedge like this, or would petrol be the way? I know I would have to trim a lot of stuff by hand as a lot of these branches are too thick to cut with a trimmer. I used to have a petrol multi tool years ago but it was far too heavy, and I have used the still ones which are great but probably out of my price range.

Any suggestions? I'll be needing it for other hedges as well, so it will be well used! Pics attached for you to have a look at. Cheers everyone.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,581
    I'd use a good pair of loppers. Using a hedge trimmer on those big leaves will leave a lot of cut leaves which will brown.  If you want it lower, bring it down a bit lower than you want and it will soon fill in up to where you want it.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,481
    The two German supermarkets are good for that sort of tool, but you have to wait until they decide to offer them.  You don't say where you are, or whether the area is urban or rural but, for a job of that size and the rather convenient level lawn beside it, I'd have a chat with a local farmer to see if he can identify a local contractor with a tractor mounted flail trimmer that is used for hedge trimming on farms.  A local council employee would also be an option, but I feel either of them would run along that hedge in double quick time, leaving you with the shape you desire that can then be kept under control with normal household machinery.  If you're prepared to wait until a contractor is in your area, I'm sure the cost wouldn't be prohibitive.  One did our 50 metres  of hedge for just €30 on that basis.
  • Thanks for the replies, unfortunately there's no way of getting a tractor there, as it's nested up in a small area away from the road. I always look on their websites but I think they will be the cheap Chinese ones, a bit too heavy. I did think about loppers, but would take ages.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,487
    I’ve recently bought a Gtech long handled cordless hedge trimmer.  I haven’t used it yet but it seems light and got good reviews.  They’re often discounted in the national press and gardening magazines.  A hedge of that length would need a power tool. Secateurs or loppers would be very laborious, although you may need them for tough branches as well as a pruning saw. 
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,399
    We paid £250 to have our long native hedge trimmed back in March but it may well be cheaper where you are. I would be inclined to save up and get that done professionally and then you will be able to maintain it in the future.
     You also have to give a thought to dealing with all the debris when you've finished the job, laurel doesn't rot down at all quickly and there will be a very big pile to get rid of.

    Another solution might be to hire a power tool for a weekend to do the initial job while you save up for a good powerful one. Laurel grows quite quickly and might need several cuts a year so unfortunately it's going to be regular job for you.

    Good luck.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,482
    edited August 2022
    Some of the branches/stems might be too thick for a hedge cutter. I have a massive laurel hedge that I have to climb ladders to cut back and use hand loppers to cut the stems. As someone else has said, if you use hedge cutters they will cut the leaves which might then turn brown and hang on for quite a while looking ugly.

    I find laurel to be a bit thuggish, so if you cut to much away then don't worry as it will grow back.

    For my privet hedge I use some cordless battery powered Stihl long reach hedge cutters that are really good
  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,492
    For general maintenance once to twice a year cut domestic hedge trimmer would probably manage it, cherry laurels can put on quite a bit of growth in a year . 

    I'd have a look on facebook market / gumtree / ebay for a used petrol machine ( the upfront cost of battery equipment is huge , they are nice to use though ). You can find older petrol models ranging from £100 - 200 , Brands to look out far Husky - stihl - Echo also brands like cobra - danarm they are Japanese's they usually have kawasaki / Misubishi engines on. 

    If you have Makita drills with batteries or any other brand you it might be best to go down that root. 

    I wouldn't be buying a cheap Chinese one I have one which I will not use , teeth and spacing are to small you struggle with the size of leaf and the one I have bends like a bannana its just cheap crap.  

    I wouldn't be using loppers or shears you'll be there all week . 
  • LunarSeaLunarSea Posts: 1,865
    I've got the Stihl HLE 71 electric unit which would certainly do the job but is rather mauling to use for any length of time (unless you're very strong) although it has an adjustable handle part way along the 5 foot pole. It has a 22.5" blade with approx 1.5" teeth spacings and will tackle most softer stuff. 

    I bought it because I needed the reach on my own Laurels, conifers & hawthorn and needed something more powerful than my hedge trimmer. In choosing the corded one I was thinking that the job is bad enough to do without having to breath in exhaust fumes as well. The cord is very long but of course at some point you'll need to attach to an extension lead. Even with my 14 foot tripod ladder I've got enough cord to comfortably reach a socket on the ground.

    I now also have a Bosch battery hedge trimmer but that wouldn't really be powerful enough to tackle big Laurel stems.
    Clay soil - Cheshire/Derbyshire border

    I play with plants and soil and sometimes it's successful

  • Thank you so much for the replies. Think I'll have a look round for a petrol one, just need one that isn't too heavy. I really like the look of the electric ones but they are too expensive for me. Im thinking that and a combination of loppers for the biggest branches. I'm not really worried about the leafs browning, it seems to grow back super quick judging by how much it's grown this year.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,742
    I would get some quotes to get a contractor in.  You can then maintain it from there. 
    AB Still learning

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