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Cutting hedges in the summer: what is allowed and what – forbidden when topiary boxwood, thuja, yew and Co.

A hedge offers much more than privacy, but frames the garden charmingly and forms the perfect background for creative designs with flowers, perennials and grasses. And if it is still well maintained, it is a real eye-catcher. And care also includes pruning. But what is allowed in the summer, what is forbidden and how to cut the hedges – you will learn in the article.

Cutting hedges: What is forbidden and what is allowed in summer?

Box hedge trimming in summer tips

Densely grown hedge plants protect privacy and decorate the garden with their beautiful flowers and fruits. However, in order for them to fulfill their role, they should be regularly trimmed to the appropriate shape. Whether it’s thinning out the hedge so the leaves can dry quickly, or perhaps the hedge needs to be shortened a bit so it doesn’t exceed the maximum allowed height: There are numerous maintenance measures that are due in the summer. But what is actually allowed and what – strictly prohibited? In which cases do penalties threaten?

Cut hedges: These pruning measures are prohibited in the summer!

Hedge trimming in summer what to consider only shorten with secateurs

According to the Federal Nature Conservation Act, radical pruning measures, as well as the complete removal of the hedge between the beginning of March and the end of September are strictly prohibited. The aim here is to protect nesting birds during the breeding season and wildlife during the mating season of rearing young. This prohibition is explained in paragraph 39 and affects not only garden owners, but also tenants of allotments and anyone who maintains green spaces.

Prohibited are:

  1. The radical pruning down to the old wood.
  2. The uprooting of the hedge

By the way, local authorities have the right to extend this period. So you should always get informed first if you want to grub up your hedge or cut it back heavily to the old wood.

Trimming hedges in summer: A caring cut is allowed

Hedge trimming in summer boxwood trimming

However, there are also maintenance cuts that are not only allowed, but simply must be done in the summer. These include:

  • Shortening the hedge. The maximum permitted hedge height can vary, but in most cases it must not exceed 200 cm. Fast-growing plants must therefore be shortened approximately.
  • If the hedge grows out onto the sidewalk. Places that are difficult to see can lead to accidents. Therefore, owners are obliged to give the hedge a topiary.

It is best to do this maintenance pruning with hedge shears. Refrain from using motorized gardening equipment and carefully check for nesting birds before pruning.

Trim evergreen hedges: The right time in summer

Foliage hedge trimming instructions and when is allowed in the summer


Prune evergreen and wintergreen hedge plants, such as boxwood or thuja, on cloudy days to avoid burning the intersections. Stop watering a day before topiary to allow the soil to dry out a bit. Never cut the plants directly after heavy rains – the interfaces should be dry, otherwise fungi and bacteria could spread.

In addition, the plants have enough time to recover from the cut. If you give your hedge a topiary too late, you risk frost damage in winter.

To continue to speed wound healing, use sharp pruning shears and run them diagonally from top to bottom.

Prune boxwood hedge: Summer, around the end of June, is the right time.

Box hedge trimming in shape instruction

The maintenance topiary should take place in late June to late July. This is necessary because from the end of June the woody plant sprouts again. If these fresh shoots are then shortened by 30%, the hedge will retain the desired shape for longer.

If you want to set accents, you can find special wire forms in the garden center. The frame is built around the boxwood and fixed. All branches that protrude from the wire form are cut off in the process.

Yew hedge trimming in summer how and when


Prune yew: Cut the hedge twice in summer

Yew hedge also needs pruning in the summer. For the first time it is cut in June, and the second – in late August, early September in “A” shape. If you missed the first pruning date, you can then cut the yew around mid-August. The trapezoidal shape (that is, narrow at the top, wide at the bottom) is important because in this way all the shoots get enough sunlight.

Pruning thuja in summer: This is how you proceed!

Thuja hedge is also cut once at the beginning of summer and once at the end of summer. To allow it to recover, the first cut should be made in June, and the second – in early to mid-August.

Deciduous hedges: That’s why you should cut cherry laurel and glossy medlar at the end of June.

Cherry laurel hedge trimming instructions for summer topiary

Hardy deciduous hedges are also pruned in late June to early July. This slows plant growth and allows the hedge to retain its shape until next spring. The plants will also have plenty of time to recover and heal.

Prune privet hedge in summer

In order for the privet hedge to keep its shape during the cold season, you should trim it once in late June and once in mid-August. If you missed the right time in June, you can start trimming the hedge in early August.

Cherry Laurel Pruning: Topiary is due at the end of June and the end of August

Cherry laurel is pruned at the end of June, just before the start of the second year’s shoots. It is best to use hand shears and always check for breeding birds.

If desired, the woody plant can be pruned a second time, around the end of August. After the end of the flowering period, the cherry laurel again begins to form flower buds, but they will not open until next year. If you cut them off at the end of summer, then next year the hedge plant will not bloom or bear poisonous fruit. Therefore, this pruning is recommended for families with pets and small children.

Pruning hornbeam hedge: When is the right time in summer

Hornbeam hedges are pruned in late July to early August. Then you should not reach for the shears until spring. Only after the hornbeam sprouts again in March is pruning or topiary an option.

Cutting beech hedge When is it allowed

Pruning the beech hedge: When is it allowed?

In order for the beech hedge to grow densely, it is pruned twice a year. Once in mid-February it is given a radical pruning, which promotes new sprouting and flowering . A second time in June to early July at the latest, it is given only a topiary.