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How to Use a Pole Hedge Trimmer

A long-reach hedge trimmer is an invaluable garden tool to keep tall hedges and shrubs looking immaculate. However, how to use a pole hedge trimmer requires skill to trim the tops of tall hedges. Of course, an extendable hedge trimmer reaching around 15 feet tall is safer than standing on a ladder. However, the cutting blades can cause serious injury if used incorrectly.

Do you use a long-reach hedge trimmer to keep your tall hedgerows or shrubs looking neat and trim? Are you considering buying a battery or corded-electric hedge trimmer? If so, this article has top tips on how to use a pole hedge trimmer in your front or backyard.

What is an Extendable Hedge Trimmer?

A pole hedge trimmer is a traditional hedge trimmer on a telescopic pole. Hedge trimmers with an extendable reach are designed to cut high hedges safely and easily without having to climb on stepladders. The hedge trimmer has an articulating head, adjustable up to 180° to help you achieve the desired results.

Extendable hedge trimmer

An extended-reach hedge trimmer with an adjustable head means you can keep tall hedgerows and shrubs in perfect shape while standing on the ground. Typically, a tall pole hedge trimmer can reach between 12 and 14 feet tall. Like most hedge cutters, they have a hardened stainless-steel blade.

Extended pole hedge trimmers for residential gardens are typically corded hedge trimmers or cordless battery-powered hedge trimmers. Usually, gas-powered pole hedge trimmers are for trimming hedges in commercial properties. Regardless of the type you use — gas-powered hedge trimmer or electric pole hedge trimmer — using a trimmer on an extension pole will make the chore of hedge trimming easier.

How to Use a Pole Hedge Trimmer

Trimming hedges with a hedge trimmer is one of the best ways to keep them in shape and look good. However, if you plan on using a pole trimmer, there are some things you need to know before you start trimming. First, safety is paramount, and you must ensure the hedge trimmer head is at the right angles.

Our Top Eight Tips on How to Use a Pole Hedge Trimmer in your Garden. 

1. Safety When Using a Extendable Hedge Trimmer

Wearing safety gear when using a long-reach hedge trimmer is crucial. This means wearing safety goggles, gloves, and long-sleeved clothing. In addition, you will need ear protection if using a gas pole hedge trimmer. Also, you must ensure you don’t trip on the extension cord when using a corded trimmer. 

It’s vital to remember that trimming tall hedges has several potential dangers. Risks include falling branches or, even worse, the blades themselves. 

2. Check the Condition of the Hedge Trimmer

Always check your equipment before starting to trim tall hedges with an extended-reach pole trimmer. Also, before starting, you should lubricate the hedge trimmer blades. This ensures that the blades can easily slice through foliage and branches and prevents sap and plant material from sticking to the trimmer. 

Suppose you are using a battery-powered cordless hedge trimmer. In that case, you should ensure that battery capacity is full; otherwise, the cordless pole hedge trimmer may not last until the end. 

3. Check the Hedge before Starting to Trim

Before trimming hedge foliage, twigs, and branches, you must check the hedge. First, ensure there are no birds nests — a common problem in spring when it’s nesting season. Also, try to check for cables and wires that could be lurking in the foliage. 

4. Prepare the Ground for Hedge Trimming

The next step before trimming a hedge with an extended-reach trimmer is to prepare the ground. First, make sure there are no issues with stability along the hedgerow. This could include large rocks, garden debris, or holes.

Remember that tripping while working with a long-reach hedge trimmer could cause severe injuries. 

It is also a good idea to lay tarpaulin to catch hedge trimmings as they fall. This will make clearing up cuttings from your work easier and less time-consuming. 

5. Gripping the Extended-Reach Hedge Trimmer

Using a hedge trimmer on the end of a ten-foot pole can be tricky. There, it’s vital to have the correct grip. This ensures the pole trimmer doesn’t become top-heavy, and you help prevent the risk of it falling. Try to keep one hand at waist level, and the other tightly gripped on the D-shaped handle on the pole.

6. Cutting angle when using an extendable hedge trimmer

How to Use a Pole hedge trimmer

It should be possible to adjust the cutting angle of the trimming head. Ideally, the cutting blade should be at a slight angle of around 25°. This cutting angle allows you to stand back from the hedge and lets you see how and what you are cutting. 

If trimming the top of a tall hedge with a pole hedge trimmer, put the angle at more than 90°. This way, you can work further away from the hedge and monitor your work. 

7. Stand in one spot when trimming hedges with an extendable hedge trimmer

Trimming hedges with a pole hedge trimmer while you are walking is dangerous. Therefore, it is best to stand in one place and cut everything you can before moving to the next spot. This way, you can cut in a straight line without missing branches or injuring yourself. 

8. After you Finish Trimming a Tall Hedgerow

If you have used the tarp, it should be straightforward to clean up trimmings and cuttings. Next, you will need to clean the sap and debris from the blades. Lubricating the blades ensures your pole hedge trimmer is ready for the next job. Also, lubricating them helps extend the blade life and keeps them sharp for the next time. 

Questions About Using a Long-Reach Hedge Trimmer

Using an extended-reach hedge trimmer is trickier than a regular hedge trimmer. To help you get started, here are answers to common questions about using a long-reach hedge trimmer.  

Can I trim hedges with a pole saw?

You can use a pole saw to trim hedges; however, its use is limited. A pole saw is a chainsaw on the end of an extended pole. It is usually used to cut branches and limbs off tall trees and shrubs. However, you cannot use a pole saw to trim hedge foliage. 

What does a pole hedge trimmer do?

Long-reach pole hedge trimmers are for cutting tall hedgerows and shrubs that grow above head height. The hedge trimmer attached to an extendable pole lets you cut tall hedges without standing on a step ladder. Additionally, the adjustable angle allows the trimmer to cut the tops of tall hedges. 

How big of a limb can I cut with a pole hedge trimmer?

Any type of trimmer for cutting hedges should be able to cut branches around 0.5” thick. However, depending on the type of trimmer on an extendable pole, you should be able to slice through branches up to 0.75” thick. Some pole trimmers have a 1-inch cutting capacity.

How high can a pole hedge trimmer reach?

Depending on the model, a pole hedge trimmer should be able to reach heights of around 12 to 14 feet high. Of course, the height depends on how much you can extend the telescopic pole of the hedge trimmer.  And, of course, your height — a tall person with long arms will be able to reach taller hedges than a smaller person. 

Is a pole hedge trimmer worth it?

Using a pole hedge trimmer to trim tall hedge

A long-reach hedge trimmer is a wise investment if you have several tall shrubs and hedges in your yard. Buying a good quality hedge trimmer means you don’t need to risk climbing up step ladders to trim the tops of 10- to 15-foot-tall hedgerows. 

However, it’s good to remember that extended-reach hedge trimmers are tricky to handle. They require a certain amount of strength to use them safely. Therefore, weighing the pros and cons of buying an electric hedge trimmer on a pole is a good idea. 

What safety equipment do I need when using a pole hedge trimmer?

Using any garden power tools with sharp blades — including a hedge trimmer — requires wearing the right safety equipment. For example, before switching on a corded pole hedge trimmer, you should ensure you are wearing safety clothing like goggles, safety boots, and gloves. If you are using a gas hedge trimmer, then it’s advisable to use ear protection as well. 

How do you extend a hedge trimmer?

Trimming tall hedges with an extendable hedge trimmer is the best option. Here are some helpful tips on how to extend the telescopic pole of a hedge trimmer:

·        Extend the telescopic pole to the height of the hedge. 

·        Ensure it is about 4 inches below the current height for a tidy hedge trim. 

·        Next, adjust the cutting angle to just above 90° — this way, you can stand back and see where you are cutting. 

Depending on the width of the blade and the hedge, you may need to repeat the cutting process on the other side of the tall hedge. 

How to Use a Pole Hedge Trimmer-In Conclusion

In conclusion, many types of long-reach hedge trimmers are available today. These include corded-electric hedge trimmers, battery-operated hedge trimmers, and gas-powered models. For example, suppose you have tall hedgerows or shrubs in your yard. In that case, extendable hedge trimmers are an excellent investment to minimize the work required to maintain your garden landscape.