View Full Version : Help me trim some shrubs!

Lopes Lawn Care
07-21-2012, 07:39 PM
So i got a new client. She's got a ton of trimming to do and it's pretty detailed. Or more detailed then i'm use to doing. She knows i'm fairly unskilled at this type of trimming but she's a family friend and o.k. with me giving it a shot. Here are some shrubs she wants shaped into soccer ball sized balls. These are alot bigger then soccer balls and not in the same shape as a ball at all.

Any and all advice would be awesome. This can be a good account for me. It's on a main road and if i do a good job alot of people will see it. It's also at a hair salon so the womens be talkin. haha. Don't wanna mess this up and definitly wanna do a great job. Thanks guys! :D

07-21-2012, 11:08 PM
I would suggest using manual hedge clippers...I know it sounds old fashioned, but you'll get a lot better cut because you are FORCED to go slower and take your time. also, ONE bad move with powered ones can ruin the bush. With it being so fragile as to the shape, take it slow and easy. Now I know some people could probably shape these no problem with a stihl (cough cough....Hedgemaster..) but for a first timer, start with the basics...

07-22-2012, 12:08 AM
Can those even be taken down to the size of soccer balls without killing them?

07-22-2012, 12:42 AM
Can those even be taken down to the size of soccer balls without killing them?

Doubtful. Well, I doubt they'd "die", but there wouldn't be much, if any green left on them.

Looks like junipers. After having been left to grow to that size, I don't see "soccer balls" happening.
What people "want" and what they can have are often not the same thing.

Shape them up, but I don't see them being made that small. You could always try one that's not as noticeable first.

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
07-22-2012, 07:02 AM
The days of these being reduced to soccer ball size are long gone...Don't even try it.....You and the property owner will not be very happy, all the growth on these is on the outside and you will be left with nothing if you cut them back that far...Shape them and move on...Just sayin..:)

07-22-2012, 07:57 AM
They only need to be trimmed. They have good shape already. I think if you just trim them the owner will be happy. They will look good.

07-22-2012, 08:13 AM
I would shape them the best I could, without taking so much off as to kill the shrub. Tell her that you cannot take them down as much as she wants in one visit, as they will probibly die. Tell her when they 'flush out' again, you will cut them somemore. It will take 3 or 4 visits to get them to the size she wants. I do agree that unless you have a lot of experience with hedge trimmers you should use shears. It is a lot slower but you have so much more control over how much you cut and the shpae you get. Good luck

Lopes Lawn Care
07-22-2012, 09:04 AM
Wow thanks for all the advice guys. I was thinking the same thing about them not being able to be made that small. She said that she was ok with them being browned from lack of greenage but i'm not gonna take them back that far. She also said i can remove a few to open them up more but i'll make those decisions as i go. There are a few of these junipers through out so i'll definitly start on the hidden ones until i get a good flow going.

I was trying to figure out the best tool to use too. I Spent like a $1,000 on two new trimmers this year and go figure i can't use them on these. I'm down for trying the old fashioned shear idea(can someone recommend a good pair of shears, i have one but its kinda old and sucks)but i was maybe thinking of going with a very small trimmer maybe a battery powered one from lowes or home depot. I know they might be ****ty but has anyone ever bought one of these and if so what would you recommend?

Thanks again! i'll post pictures of this job as i go.

Lopes Lawn Care
07-22-2012, 10:45 AM
Some before and afters of work i did yesterday there. Tips and pointers along with any critisizem (sp) would be greatly appreciated. good or bad. :cool:

On the last set i just tried to follow the contours of the junipers that were already established. Didn't really know what the hell to do with it.

07-22-2012, 12:58 PM
by cutting the bush back that much wouldn't kill anything. All the growth is on the outside of the shrub. So, next year wouldn't it fill in? It just may not look good for a year or so...

07-22-2012, 02:07 PM
We use Stihl hedge trimmers for almost all the shrubs and hedges we trim. Very rarely do we use shears, only for fine tuning by fences or hard to reach places. The size you can cut the shrubs down to varies on the shrub type and what they want it to look like in a week or a month. Depends on the future plans for the property.

Grass Doctor
07-22-2012, 09:57 PM
so according to u you should shape them in spring for the desire form square round etc. keep them in summer, be aggressive at the late summer, and light trim in fall.


Lopes Lawn Care
07-23-2012, 09:25 AM
Yeah, the home owner would like them brought back down to soccerball/basketball size. I guess that's the way they use to be but over the years her former guy let them get bigger. I was just hesitant on doing that cause they will all be brown but i was thinking they would eventually come back even if it is next year. I just didn't want to kill off anything permenatly.

Lopes Lawn Care
07-24-2012, 05:34 PM
branchout, you do alot of trimming, how would you go about tackling these shrubs?