Growing naturally in the wild, purposely planted hedges have a different appearance in terms of symmetry and levelled surfaces, as they are regularly tended to, especially in urban areas. Hedges tend to border people’s gardens, providing, aside from a neat appearance of rich vegetation, shading to other plants which require it.
Many hedges planted in or around gardens are evergreen, such as the box hedge, Griselinia littoralis or cherry laurel, which means they never wither and preserve their lively appearance throughout the four seasons, even during the harshest winters. Other species, such as beech, hibernate throughout the cold season and are revived again in spring, many producing beautiful and fragrant flowers. Berry shrubs are very recommended as well and require little maintenance, annually producing fruit which is very sought after. Blackberries, blueberries and red currants are among the favourites of growers and endeared by children.
Hedges are also commonly classed as formal or informal, formal ones encompassing those located on properties of public interest. The level of maintenance depends on the type and utility of the hedge; berry shrubs for instance are grown for their fruit, whilst evergreen hedges are kept for ornamental purposes and are therefore trimmed regularly in order to be kept compact, dense and tidy. Hedges can be trimmed with a variety of devices:
- Shears, manually operated, used for simple jobs and informal hedges.
- Automated trimmers, which can be electrical or gasoline powered.
- Tractor-mounted hedge trimmers.
Tractor-mounted hedge trimmers are used for very tall hedges; alternatively, telescopic shears can be used, as their handles allow reaching awkward locations. Also, although said to be les powerful, electrical trimmers seemed to be preferred by customers to gasoline powered types, as they are easier to manoeuver due to their lighter constitution and they cause less pollution as well.