A hedge around your own garden or property often serves as a privacy screen. But even if the hedge is to be relatively high, it must be cut regularly every year. In such a case, the question quickly arises whether the hobby gardener has the right equipment and the time to carry out such a cut himself, or whether it is better to hire a professional.

Pro or cut yourself

Even if the garden seems to be finished and all of the planting has been done, the hobby gardener is required to carry out further activities every year. And this also includes getting the hedge, which was chosen as a privacy screen, back into shape. The question now arises as to whether a professional should be requested to cut the hedge or whether you can trust yourself to cut the hedge correctly.

The costs for cutting the hedge, whether the work is carried out yourself or whether a professional is used, can be very different and can be the decisive factor here. But other arguments also play a role:

  • the garden owner has the time to cut
  • the necessary tools are available
  • what about your own know-how
  • with a professional, the costs can get very high
  • is billed by the meter or by the hour
Tip: If you hire a professional to cut the hedge, you can make yourself comfortable during this time or do your own work in the garden or household. Because the landscape gardeners work absolutely independently and do not want any help from the hedge owner.

Cut yourself

Anyone who decides to carry out the hedge trimming themselves needs above all the necessary know-how, the right tools and a little time. Every hobby gardener should also find out when to cut the hedge. Because it is not allowed at all times, because especially birds can breed here, which are then disturbed. This can result in a sensitive fine of up to 50,000 euros if you act contrary to this.

The times are interpreted differently from state to state, but the Federal Nature Conservation Act provides that hedges can only be closed in the period from October 1st to October 28th / 29th. February may be cut, in the period from the beginning of March to September the main breeding season of the birds must be observed. During this time in summer:

  • Shape and care cuts
  • only cut branches that stand outwards
  • you have to look out for bird nests beforehand
  • if there is one in the hedge, do not cut it under any circumstances
Tip: If you need a shape and maintenance cut in summer and are not sure whether this can be carried out, you should avoid the possible fine by hiring a professional who is familiar with it. The costs for the summer cut are usually cheaper if they are billed by the hour.

Tool prices

If you have just laid out a hedge or maybe even the entire garden, you usually don’t have the tools yet and have to purchase them first. If the hedge is not too high and long, most hobby gardeners can invest the time for this themselves, because a hedge about three meters long and two meters high can be cut quickly with an electric hedge trimmer.

In addition, the purchase price for the scissors only has to be raised once, especially the manual scissors last a very long time and only need to be resharpened in between. So the cost of the purchase looks like this:

  • manual hedge trimmers between 25 and 40 euros
  • electric hedge trimmers between 50 and 200 euros
  • there are also electricity costs for use
  • Cost of renewing the scissor blades
Tip: If the hedge is not too big and overgrown and the hobby gardener trusts himself to make the cut, he should use a good electric hedge trimmer and carry out the cut himself. For example, if the electric hedge trimmer for 200.00 euros has a lifespan of ten years, the annual hedge cut costs only 20.00 euros, regardless of how many meters it is.

Costs for professionals

If a professional, who is usually a trained landscape gardener, is commissioned, he will bill either by hours or by the length of the hedge. It is important to find out which variant of the two is the cheaper. Because if the hedge is very high and overgrown, the hourly price can be significantly higher than the price per meter, as the professional has to work longer to cut the hedge.

If “only” a price per meter was agreed, then it does not matter how long the landscaper is busy with the cutting. In the opposite case, it can also be the case that an hourly rate is cheaper if the hedge only needs to be trimmed slightly. As a rule, which of course can vary slightly from company to company, the following costs are charged for cutting the hedge:

  • Costs per hour between 25.00 and 35.00 euros
  • Costs per ten meters of hedge between 30.00 and 35.00 euros
Tip: If a landscape gardening company is regularly commissioned to cut a hedge, the client does not need to have a special tool for cutting a hedge, because the landscape gardeners bring them with them from their own portfolio. Since these are mostly petrol-powered devices, there are no electricity costs.

It all depends on the cut

Whether the professional is paid by the hour or by the meter should always be decided on an individual basis. For example, for a very long but not so high hedge, it is definitely cheaper on an hourly basis. The same length of the hedge, which is also maybe two meters high, can then be significantly cheaper on a meter basis. It also depends on the desired hedge cut, whether a fixed price (i.e. per running meter) or an hourly price could be cheaper. There are the following different cuts of a hedge:

  • Form and care cut
  • here only a few, protruding branches are removed
  • very cheap on an hourly basis
  • a meter here can cost around one to two euros
  • tall hedges and hedges without shape
  • must be brought into shape or severely shortened
  • Cutting costs here are three and four euros per meter
  • massive cut back or put on the stick
  • here, for example, it is shortened by 1.50 meters
  • this is of course where most of the costs are incurred
  • Hedge trimming can cost between 10.00 and 20.00 euros per meter
Tip: The costs of the professionals may also include the costs for the disposal of the green cuttings, which have to be added when you cut yourself.

Billing on an hourly basis?

So how sensible it is to make an agreement to perform the cut on an hourly basis. Because the landscape gardener cannot estimate a flat rate per meter, which also includes the disposal costs. In such a case, it is better to determine a price on an hourly basis, especially for a hedge that is to be severely shortened. Because this is how all costs are covered. Even a higher hourly rate shouldn’t be a deterrent here, because better machines and more staff can ultimately lead to shorter working hours at this company, as you work more effectively and faster.

Tip: If you hire a professional, you should definitely make sure that the travel costs are already included in the price and are not charged separately. Because if the company comes from a place further away, they can let the price skyrocket.

Disposal costs

If the hedge is cut independently or if the professional calculates by meters, then there may be additional disposal costs for the hedge. In the case of a small cut back or shaped cut, these are hardly worth mentioning. If the hobby gardener also has a chopper, the parts are quickly shredded and disposed of on the compost. But when you cut a large hedge, there is also a lot of waste that has to be disposed of.

Unless an hourly wage has been agreed, the landscape gardening company usually charges between 40.00 and 45.00 euros per cubic meter of hedge cuttings for removal and disposal. If you want to dispose of the green waste yourself, you need a suitable transporter to be able to drive the cut to the landfill. Therefore, the following additional costs are incurred:

  • Rental costs for vans
  • Costs for disposal on landfill
  • varies from parish to parish

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