Can I Use A Grass Trimmer To Trim Conifers?

Written By James
Updated March 17, 2022 by James

Can I Use A Grass Trimmer To Trim Conifers?

Is It Possible To Use a Grass Trimmer To Cut Conifers With?

If you already have a grass trimmer in your tool shed, you might be wondering if you can use this trimmer for conifers rather than using a hedge trimmer instead? 

You can use a grass trimmer to trim conifers as long as it has a long enough pole or an extendable pole for higher hedges, a hedge trimmer can also be used trim grass vice versa.

We've composed a small guide below which will take you through the difference between trimmers, when to cut conifers, how to cut conifers with a grass trimmer and some tips for getting the best results when trimming conifers. 

What's The Difference Between a Grass Trimmer & Hedge Trimmer?

Electric hedge trimmers and petrol hedge trimmers differ from grass trimmers because they are longer and have a slightly different shaped blades. They allow you to precisely cut normal shrubs and tall hedges to any shape you want. 

Grass trimmers on the other hand can be brought in both a small handheld version or with a pole, which is the version that can be used to cut a taller hedge with. These can also be used for trimming garden shrubs and grasses

The main difference between these tools is that petrol hedge trimmer models tend to be more heavy-duty and hold up against denser hedges, they can also be used for cutting dead branches.

When Should I Trim My Conifers? 

Conifers hedge plants need to be trimmed only twice a year, this is around later times during summer then pruning during the winter. We suggest avoiding trimming them in very hot or dry temperatures since this can turn them brown.

The time for trimming garden hedges can differ however according to the type of conifer hedge that you have. 

  • Pine - Pine conifers tend to have needles in groups of three, four or five.
  • Arborvitae - These have soft needles along their stems. 
  • Junipers - Leaves on these bushes form in sprays.
  • Chamaecyparis - These have a similar foliage to Junipers except having a silver X on their underside.

How To Cut Conifers With a Grass Trimmer 

Trimming a conifer hedge with a grass trimmer is similar to trimming them with a hedge trimmer.

We've listed basic steps to follow below. 

  1. Start by taking bamboo canes and slotting them down into your hedge, this will help to mark the top edge on the hedge, then tie a strong string in between the poles to make a straight line. 
  2. Take your grass trimmer without the pole and hold it horizontally above the conifer and trim using the string as a guideline, keep balanced on the sturdy step ladders while doing this and wear safety goggles to protect yourself from flying debris. 
  3. Use your grass trimmer to trim the sides of your hedge by holding it vertically and sweeping it with long strokes. Take out the bamboo canes in the hedge base and hold the grass trimmer at a 45-degree angle to smooth out the hedge edges.

Our Best Tips For Trimming Conifers

Trimming hedge conifers is relatively easy once you've practised a few times, however, there are some worth knowing tips and tricks to get the best finish on your conifers. 

  • Keep the blade sharp and well lubricated - Having a sharp and well-lubricated blade is important when cutting an overgrown conifer hedge, this is so that your grass trimmer can handle the denser leaves.
  • Try handheld shears - For detailed shaping and parts on your conifer, it might be best to use hand-held hedge shears since they give you more control.
  • Keep balanced - Always keep balanced on a ladder while cutting your hedge height, this is to keep you safe.
  • Avoid cutting too short - Do avoid scalping your conifer, this will cause the conifer to turn brown and yellow, especially in summer conditions.

Final Words 

Overall, you can use a grass trimmer for cutting conifers and also a hedge trimmer for cutting grass. Always ensure that you are wearing protective equipment when using these power tools and use a garden string for accuracy when cutting formal hedges.

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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