Setting the right budget

How much should you expect to pay?

We know it's difficult to estimate how much a project will cost, that's why we've surveyed our tradesmen to give you an idea of how much you should expect to pay for specific jobs. Tradesmen all across the country have contributed to the cost guides, so the costs you see are an approximate national average.

Maintaining hedges

Up to 10m 10m-20m More than 20m
Low High Low High Low High
Hedge trimming £50 £100 £100 £150 £100 £200

Having your hedges trimmed regularly keeps your garden and your property looking neat and tidy, but it also keeps your hedges and bushes healthy and stops any potential problems with the plants. Getting your hedges trimmed by an expert is also far safer for you, as you won’t be climbing up a ladder inexpertly wielding an expensive powered trimmer.

Annual hedge trimming

Once your hedges are established you will generally need to have them pruned each summer, although formal hedges may need more maintenance if you want to keep a defined shape. New hedges should additionally be trimmed according to type. Deciduous hedges need to be trimmed in the winter after planting and the two winters after that, whereas evergreen hedges will need pruning in the spring after planting and the two subsequent springs.

This is known as formative pruning and ensures healthy growth as the hedge matures. Your gardener should also be able to add fertiliser to your hedge and advise you on any additional feeding or light maintenance that you should carry out yourself.

Although once a year is sufficient for most hedges, some will need more attention. Box hedges will need to be trimmed two or three times during each growing season, as will privet hedges. Similarly, hawthorn will need two trims (one in summer, one in autumn) and conifers such as Leylandii and Lawson cypress hedges will require two or three trims in spring and summer. Your gardener should be able to advise you on exactly what kind of hedge it is you have and how much attention it will need to keep it healthy and looking good. Hedges usually require quite a lot of water, but do ask your gardener for advice on how often for your own hedges.

Booking an annual maintenance pruning for your hedges means that your gardener gets to know your hedges as well as being able to spot any potential problems with them, such as bare patches, blight or uneven growth. A good gardener should be able to schedule your hedge trimming around any other work that you may need doing in the garden or book it in with other jobs in your neighbourhood in order to keep travelling time and hence costs down. Be sure to let the gardener know if there are likely to be any birds nesting in the hedge, as they can then be extra careful when doing any pruning work (as it is illegal to remove any nests during nesting season, which covers most of spring and summer).

Informal and flowering hedges such as fuschia will usually need pruning after flowering, when your gardener will cut back the new growth. Your gardener will need to prune young bushes and hedges each winter. This is known as formative pruning and promotes healthy growth of young plants, as well as keeping the plants to a scale that suits your garden. You can also speak to your neighbour to see if they would like the bushes cutting back from their side, which makes for good relationships with those next door as well as for healthy plants. 

Legal issues and hedges

Recent legislation has aimed to deal with the problem of large and overgrown hedges, notably evergreens like the Leylandii. Hedges of over two metres in height may be in breach of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, so if you think this applies to your hedges then you should check with your gardener before a neighbour makes a complaint. Councils may enforce trimming of hedges that are deemed to be a nuisance.

Rated People surveyed 107 of our gardeners across the country to give you an idea of the approximate costs for a range of work in your garden. Please note these prices are average, do not include materials and are offered as guidance only, to help you budget when posting a job on Rated People. For a free quote tailored to your specific requirements please contact one of our  local gardeners and garden designers.


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