The size of the hedges makes it possible to obtain regular shapes and dense hedges. It is carried out in June for resistant and slow-growing plantations. (Non-contractual photo, does not necessarily reflect the drawing)
For deciduous (privet) or fast-growing (thuja) hedges, cut three or four times in a row between May and September. In any case, the winter size is to be avoided, because the cut ends are then very sensitive to frost.
The use of a hedge shears imposes a quite tedious work, since the hedge is relatively long, or higher than the shoulders of the operator. The hedge trimmer does a regular job, for less fatigue. To get a perfect shape, it is good to spot the waist plan with a well tensioned cord. Avoid working barefoot and wear protective gloves and glasses.
Electric hedge trimmers
Tool most used by the amateur gardener, the electric hedge trimmer is light and quiet. Its motor, placed vertically, drives the eccentric that animates the blades through a gear train reducing speed. Double-edged blade systems give the best size finish.
There are machines on which you can adapt a hedge trimmer blade or a grass shear blade. In general, these are equipment powered by rechargeable batteries. The absence of wire makes them very practical for the lateral height of very high hedges or the decorative size of ornamental shrubs (boxwood, for example).
Heat engine hedge trimmers
The use of a heat engine makes it possible to work away from any source of electricity. These machines are especially interesting for the size of hedges of great length, representing a work of more than half an hour.
In addition, their two-stroke engine is usually more powerful than an electric motor; which makes them recommend for the size of old hedges with branches of large diameter (more than 10 mm), or hedges with very hard branches (boxwood, yew trees). The hedge trimmers with a combustion engine can also be used for light brushing work.
Their engine is powered by a diaphragm carburetor allowing use in all positions. A centrifugal clutch drives the blades as soon as you accelerate. At idle, the blades must be stopped, otherwise the idle speed of the engine or, failing that, the tension of the return spring of the jaws of the clutch must be set.
Maintenance of the blade of the hedge trimmer
All modern machines now have two overlapping blades acting in opposite directions. They are guided by nipples carried by the guide bar. Each blade carries at its end a perforated piece in which the eccentric control moves.
After each job, clean the blades with a soft brush, but never use a jet of water. Then lubricate them with a cod-tail brush soaked in Vaseline oil or better, using a spray of special lubricant.
On most machines, especially the most powerful, the removal of the blades requires opening the housing and deposit at least one of the eccentric control. Some machines are equipped with a set comprising blades and cartridge guide, which is extracted after unlocking a safety latch placed either under the housing or behind the screen handguard.
To sharpen the blades, it is better to deposit them. Work on each blade independently, after taking it between two wooden boards between the jaws of a vise. Make sure to sharpen all the teeth and respect the bottom fillet of teeth.
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