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The following guide will show you when and how to cut a beech hedge. From the right time to the right tool, our guide has all the information.

In a nutshell

  • watch out for sharp blades
  • take the right time
  • clean tools required
  • Waste is required for a variety of reasons
  • caution is advised


Cutting the beech hedge fulfills several functions. Below:

  • Removal of diseased or damaged shoots
  • shaping
  • size control
  • compression of growth
  • rejuvenation

The maintenance measure should therefore be carried out regularly and more than once a year.

diseases and injuries

However, the best time to cut damaged shoots on your beech hedge is as early as possible. Whether these are noticeable in winter or in summer is irrelevant. Possible signs and causes of such a targeted waste are:

  • broken shoots
  • Traces of parasites
  • discolored leaves due to diseases or care errors
  • dried branches

Notice: The affected shoots should be cut back so far that there is no longer a damaged part. The earlier you do the trimming, the lower the risk of the damage spreading.


The first cut of the year takes place before new leaves and branches sprout. If the temperatures in winter are very mild, the beginning of February can be a suitable time. In colder climates, a blend in March may be sufficient. The following points are important when cutting the beech hedge:

  • choose a frost-free day
  • use clean cutting tools
  • check for bird nests beforehand

Another blend takes place between June and August. Only shoots that clearly protrude and a maximum of a quarter to a third of the branch lengths are blended. This encourages denser growth. This not only has optical advantages.

Notice: Hedgerows are an important habitat for animals such as birds and insects. They provide protection from predators and space for nesting sites. Blends between March and September are therefore only permitted in a light form.

radical cut

The radical or rejuvenation cut may be necessary at longer intervals if the plants are bare and there are a lot of old shoots. After a certain age, they no longer have leaves and should therefore be removed.
A targeted approach is recommended here. Old and bare branches are cut off as radically as possible. Young, fresh and green shoots should remain. With the red beech hedge, you can easily cut into the old wood.


Cutting a beech hedge in a slightly conical shape makes sense, as this allows for a better distribution of weight and light. Especially in regions with snowy winters, this form provides good protection against damage to the plants.
On the one hand, due to the narrower tips, not so much snow can accumulate on them, which means that the burdening weight is lower. On the other hand, the incidence of light is improved because the rays of light can also reach the lower leaves.

procedure and tools

In addition to choosing the time to cut your beech hedge, the procedure and the cutting tool are also decisive for a good trimming. Pay attention to the following points:

  • cleanliness
  • sharpness
  • Pruning your beech hedge on frost-free days in spring
  • Blend without blazing sun in summer
  • Threads can be stretched for orientation
It is important to use clean and sharp hedge trimmers to trim the beech hedge.

It is ideal to disinfect secateurs directly before use. This can be done with alcohol or boiling water. In this way, neither parasites nor germs are introduced into the open and fresh interfaces.
Sharp blades ensure that the shoots are not crushed. Carrying out the trimming on dry, frost-free days allows quick drying and thus a good seal of the cut surfaces. This also reduces the risk of disease and infestation and damage from parasites.

frequently asked Questions

Why should the hedge be trimmed twice a year?

This procedure promotes dense growth. As a result, the plants provide better protection against prying eyes, wind and sun. The hedges are also more stable.

Why are hedges not allowed to be trimmed from March to September?

The densely leafy plants provide an important habitat and protective retreat for some animal species. Therefore, removing large sections during the gardening season would be devastating to wildlife. However, gentle topiary cuts or grooming cuts during the season are permitted and recommended.

Why are manual tools the better choice?

In contrast to electrical variants, mechanical pruning shears can be used in a much more targeted manner. They don't shred the leaves but create a smooth cut. This in turn is gentler on the plant.

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