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Without regular pruning, the fast-growing hornbeam hedge will not be dense and will quickly look overgrown. Older hedges should therefore be trimmed twice a year. When is the best time to trim hornbeam hedges?

From March to June, the hornbeam hedge should only be trimmed lightly

The first cut is made in spring

The best time to radically cut the hornbeam hedge is not autumn, as many gardeners believe, but early spring, preferably February. Then the plants have not yet started to sprout and can cope better with a heavy cut.

In addition, no birds nest in the hedge, which would be disturbed by it.

Cut a second time after St. John's Day

The second cut, a slight topiary, takes place after St. John's Day, which is June 24th. Shortly before that, the hornbeam hedge shoots again, albeit less.

Do not prune too much from March to the end of June

During the breeding season of the birds, hedges may only be trimmed very lightly. Before you reach for the scissors, check whether there are still inhabited nests in the hornbeam hedge.

The right day to cut the hornbeam hedge

The right day also plays a role in cutting hornbeam hedges. In winter, a frost-free day with at least 5 degrees Celsius is ideal.

In summer, trim the hedge on an overcast day when it is not too warm and not raining. If the hornbeam hedge is cut in full sun, the cut ends dry up and the hedge takes longer to recover.


Young hornbeam hedges have to be cut much more often so that they become dense quickly. Pruning is recommended up to six times a year. Here, too, the heaviest pruning is carried out in early spring.

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