The pride of any home is its beautifully shaped hedges, perfectly clipped shrubs, and topiary sculptures.
Hiring a full-time gardener is not cost-effective, especially if you have a small or medium-sized garden. In these cases, it’s better to hire someone who can do it themselves. Further, many gardeners prefer to clip and prune their hedges themselves. Even if you cut your hedges yourself, you will need the same tools and equipment as a professional.
Using ordinary, everyday tools to cut hedges can be either inconvenient or even dangerous due to the specialized nature of the activity.
The ladder you use to work on your hedges should take into account that hedges can have many different heights, widths, and lengths, as well as different requirements.
If you cut hedges in your garden, you will need a ladder specifically made for cutting hedges, not just any ladder. An ordinary ladder won’t be suitable for use on unpaved surfaces like those found in gardens in general.
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How Do We Cut Hedges With Specialized Ladders?
Our mental image of ladders and how they are used is one of the ladders placed on the plane, on hard ground, propped against a solid surface, or placed near it, with us working on something on the surface or nearby.
The problem becomes evident when it comes to shearing hedges. Neither the hedge nor the garden provides a solid surface for the ladder to rest on.
In contrast, a ladder manufactured specifically for cutting hedges overcomes these problems.
Stability and security
It is almost always necessary to place the ladder on soft and uneven ground in the garden to cut hedges.
Providing extra stability and safety for the gardener is achieved by making the base of the ladder much wider than the top and strengthening the side rails and legs.
There are a variety of different heights of hedges, ranging from knee-high to several feet high. General-purpose ladders may not have height adjustment, which makes them unsuitable for hedge cutting.
Although it may have adjustable height, the range of height may not be enough to reach every hedge.
In contrast to conventional ladders, ladders for hedge cutting are always taller, so they can be used for hedges of all heights.
Furthermore, a hedge-cutting ladder should be equipped with separately adjustable legs so that it can be set up comfortably on uneven terrain, especially when the heights near and far from the hedge differ.
A ladder is a quite bulky piece of equipment, which may not fit properly among the branches and leaves of a hedge. If the ladder is forced to fit, it may not provide a stable enough footing to be safe. To solve this problem, hedge-cutting ladders are specially designed to be compact.
The ladders you buy for cutting hedges should be rustproof for safety and durability. It is possible for hedges to be wet for many reasons, such as watering, transpiration, and so on.
A hedge-cutting ladder has more chances to come into contact with water. A corrosion-resistant material such as aluminum, steel, and hard plastic must be used to ensure its long life.
Ladders for cutting hedges: What to look for
If used properly, a ladder can solve all your problems at a “height”, while if used incorrectly, it can cause serious harm.
In a garden with hedges, these accidents can be fatal or permanently damaging, which is why you need to make sure you check all the right boxes before buying a hedge-cutting ladder.
Ladders should be selected based on your preferences and the characteristics of your garden. Not everyone finds each type of ladder easy to use, nor is every garden landscape conducive to its use.
The ladder should not only suit you and your hedges, but you should also test it out once before you buy it to make sure that it is comfortable for you.
It is crucial that any ladder used for hedge cutting has this feature. Gardens are bound to vary in height from one point to another.
There are many people who construct a platform around their hedges for aesthetic reasons as well.
It will be impossible to work on such an irregular surface if your ladder cannot be adjusted separately for the front and back rails.
Five-foot ladders and twenty-foot ladders aren’t practical if your hedge is ten feet high.
You should get a ladder whose topmost step or platform is at least a foot higher than the tallest hedge you have or plan to have when purchasing a ladder for hedge cutting.
A flared base, long stabilizers, or extra rails are all essential features of ladders used for hedge cutting.
To allow for wiggle room when cutting hedges, the ladder should have a wide base. A wide base will make it easier for a person on top to be supported no matter how he moves his center of gravity.
If possible, hedge-cutting ladders should also have a wide platform on top. Steps should be extra wide. The hedge can take up a lot of space, and hedge-cutters are often tempted to cover the entire hedge without getting down to set up the ladder.
So, although this is not advised at all, wide steps and platforms do allow the person to move around slightly, either to get a nearby errant branch or to make himself more comfortable. The ladder should also be wide towards the center rather than outward so as to avoid grazing the shin too much with the steps.
In order to avoid reaching beyond the permissible limit while pruning your hedge, a ladder for hedge cutting should have extra rails or harnesses for you to hold onto.
Using ladders for cutting hedges: Precautions
The ladder and hedges themselves are two things that can seriously injure you in a garden with hedges.
In most cases, it is impossible to remove these potentially hazardous objects, so the best we can do is take the necessary precautions.
Examination of Ladder
As hedge-cutting ladders are frequently exposed to moisture and dirt, they are highly prone to corrosion.
However, even if we buy a rustproof ladder and keep it clean and dry, we cannot completely stop the corrosion process. Therefore, we must inspect the ladder before use for any damage.
Ladder Stability on Ground
A person on a wobbly ladder has nothing but danger written all over it. Do not climb a ladder unless it is stable on the ground and its axis does not change with a slight touch.
You may need to adjust the leg heights of hedge-cutting ladders, which are used on uneven ground. Shift the ladder around until you find the right placement.
You may use the ladder once the ground has hardened if you do not level the ground first.
Limits of safe reaching
When you consider how much extra effort it takes to dismount the ladder, set it up at the right spot, and then mount it again for hedge cutting, it is easy to feel tempted to get just one more leaf, one more bud, or one more branch by overreaching.
Make sure you are safe when on your ladder, because there is nothing more dangerous than overreaching. More people go to the emergency room due to overreaching than for some problem with the ladder.
Carrying sharp tools safely
Using tools such as shears and cutters to cut hedges requires great caution.
In addition to paying attention to your footing and balance, you also need to pay attention to the hedge itself when you are on a ladder.
In fact, that’s exactly why you should be extra careful around these tools. If possible, keep them in a worker’s belt or cloth bag, or keep them away from the tool if it’s out.
Gardener’s Firm Footing and Hold
Due to the uneven ground where hedge-cutting ladders are placed, this applies to all ladders, not just hedge-cutting ladders.
Having a firm footing helps you maintain your balance and prevent slips and falls. The water from the hedges may also wet the steps.
You should also hold on to the handrail if one is provided. Maintain a three-point contact with your ladder at all times.
Support for hedges should be prevented
It’s no safer to climb a wobbly ladder if you’re supported by a hedge. A hedge, after all, is just a shrub.
If a nearby wall is available, you can support a ladder on it. Otherwise, you can use a ladder that has an A-shape for self-support.
The best ladder for trimming tall hedges
1. Werner FTP6212 300-Pound Duty Rating Fiberglass Tripod Ladder
In contrast to other types of ladders, you can place them across barriers like broken-down walls and hedges, giving you greater access to them.
Double rivets provide exceptional strength, and the steps are wide enough to allow the user to work for long hours without becoming uncomfortable. As well as helping set up the ladder securely and securely, the ladder’s spread handle design aids in carrying it and transporting it as well.
Despite uneven ground, the ladder keeps its position thanks to its specially treaded feet. They are also replaceable in case they wear away too much. For convenience, the ladder has a Tool-Tra-Top fitted on top, so you can keep all your tools there and work comfortably without exerting yourself too much.
The defect and workmanship warranties are also lifetime, so you have no worries.
The Werner FTP series 12-foot ladder, with its tripod nature, is quite compact. Due to its tripod design, it can easily be positioned closer to hedges, or in between hedges, without having to lean out.
Its fiberglass construction makes it especially resistant to damage, especially when working with hedges. Since hedges are shrubs and not herbs, scratches and grazes are inevitable.
It protects the ladder body from abrasions, not only from hedges but also from accidental falls and hits caused by the rail shield.
As a result of the traction treads on the ladder steps, the climber has excellent footing, as well as preventing slips due to any reason, even when wet.
Gardening is inherently wet, so this feature is crucial.
- Constructed with durability in mind.
- Configurable in multiple ways.
- The user manual is confusing.
2. Louisville Ladder FXS1510 Cross Step/Shelf Ladder
One of the best things about the Louisville Cross-Step ladder is its design, which allows the worker to get closer to the hedge without falling off the ladder. Its clever design allows it to be placed easily in any position around hedges.
You can use this ladder both as a step ladder and as a shelf ladder, which is useful if you are working near a pole or tree. As a fiberglass ladder, it is lightweight, making it easy to carry around, yet sturdy enough to handle heavy duty work.
A total of 300 pounds can be loaded on it, and the connections are all double riveted for extra strength. In addition, both the front and back sections of the ladder have to lock latches to keep the rails in place while trimming hedges. In this ladder’s tool tray, you can keep any kind of tool you may need for shearing hedges. The slots accommodate different types of tools.
Even if there is no more space in the slots, the tray includes a magnet so that you can store a smaller tool there. When used as a normal ladder against poles or tree trunks, the tool tray is part of a V-shaped Pro-Top. The ladder angle comes at an optimal value when used as an A-shaped step ladder so that you can get closer to the hedges to work better on them.
As long as you’re not leaning or moving too much, it won’t destabilize you. Shox’s proprietary impact absorption system prevents unwarranted wobbles when you move around on the ladder. Moreover, Raptor boots firmly bonded to its treaded feet prevent any kind of slippage, even on highly unstable soil.
- A stability rail is included
- A light source
- A detachable tool bag is included
- Closes slowly
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3. Little Giant Ladders, Velocity with Wheels – best ladder for hedge trimming
There’s no need to use multiple ladders: The Velocity from Little Giant includes a stepladder, a stairway ladder, an extension ladder, a 90-degree ladder, and scaffolding all in one.
For homeowners with limited storage space but who need access to a variety of ladder types, having one ladder for many projects is a big win. Our product tester commented that the ladder can be used for a wide variety of scenarios for projects or repairs around the house, both inside and outside.
The big advantage of this multi-position ladder is its Rock Lock adjustment system that lets you reconfigure it quickly and easily—our tester noted that the ladder was very sturdy and easily supported its weight in any of its configurations, and it was easy to change its configurations.
The ladder can be safely positioned on uneven ground using ratcheting leg levelers. When not in use, the ladder folds to a reasonable size, and the wheels make it easy to move around, though our tester noted that it is quite heavy.
Upon being fully extended, the M17 reaches a maximum of 11.7 feet and reaches a maximum of 18.1 feet. The ladder is rated 1A, which means it can hold up to 300 pounds and has a height of 4 feet to 7 feet. When used as a stepladder, you can adjust it to anywhere between 4 feet and 7 feet in height, depending on how you configure it.
- A very versatile individual
- Constructed with durability in mind
- Feet that are level
4. Aluminum Telescoping Ladder
Ohuhu’s aluminum telescoping extension ladder reaches a maximum height of 12.5 feet, giving you an 11-foot reach height.
It’s high enough to reach most ceiling lights, paint walls, and open high cabinets in your home. It’s only 33.5 inches high when folded, and our tester noted that it’s light and easy to store when folded. However, it’s not high enough for hanging holiday lights and cleaning gutters on most houses.
Although the ladder is telescoping, it is very stable and steady. Our tester says that the ladder felt very sturdy, even toward the top, and the rungs are solid and wide enough to be comfortable.
Collapsing the ladder is easy: Just press the two red buttons simultaneously, and it slowly retracts, making it less likely to pinch your fingers.
Upon collapse, the ladder was very easy to set up, extend, and collapse, and it was very easy to carry. As a whole, this ladder is a good option if you only need it occasionally for simple tasks around the house.
- Sturdy and durable
- Extendable and collapsible
- The lack of longevity has been cited as a complaint
5. Xtend & Climb 770P telescoping-ladders, 12.5 ft
We tested a number of telescoping ladders, but this one was the most substantial in terms of weight and material quality. The Xtend & Climb is no slacker. Despite being heavier than most, this one retracts to a handy 32 inches. It comes with a foam grip that keeps the metal from pressing into our palms as we carry it, and it weighs 27 pounds.
Using the top rung, the next rung, and the last, until all the rungs had been telescoped and locked in place, we were able to easily extend the ladder to its full length of 12.5 feet.
In order to test the ladder’s stability, we positioned it against various objects—house walls and trees—and it did not bow or sway when we climbed. We found it to be just as sturdy as an extension ladder that was older.
Our next test was how the ladder retracted, and we were impressed by it. The Xtend ladder retracts rung by rung when the two side buttons are depressed, posing a danger to fingers as some telescopic and extension ladders come down.
Nonslip pads are molded into the legs of the Xtend & Climb ladder, claiming to support up to 225 pounds. Although we didn’t test the ladder with 225 pounds, it definitely seemed strong enough. This ladder is capable of supporting that much weight, we don’t doubt it.
- OSHA-certified, ANSI-rated
- Fingers are protected by the slow-close feature
- Traction is provided by nonslip end caps
- Comfortable portability thanks to foam grips
- Sections can “lock” together when improperly cared for
Also Read: Can ladders be stored outside? The best way to store a ladder?
6. ARCHOM Folding Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladders
Despite being 30 inches tall and weighing 13.9 pounds when retracted, we found the Archom Telescoping Ladder to be easy to carry and store. We had no trouble opening or closing the ladder. It extends and retracts smoothly, and retracts only one rung at a time. It is safe for fingers.
We extended the Archom to its full height and leaned it against a kitchen wall. The rungs felt solid underfoot, but we doubt they would hold 330 pounds as advertised.
We checked to see if the feet would slip with someone on the ladder. Under 155 pounds, the ladder flexed a bit, so we figure anything over 200 pounds might push it. We really like this ladder, but we think it is incorrectly rated.
This is another light-duty telescoping ladder. It’s perfect for reaching items on a high shelf, but not stable enough for DIY projects or extended use.
One of its main advantages is that you can store it in a small space, such as beside the fridge or in a hall closet, so you can quickly retrieve it for reaching something overhead. As well, it would make an excellent RV ladder.
- Extending and retracting smoothly
- Designed for finger safety with a soft closure
- This product is suitable for light-duty use
- It is questionable whether it can support 330 pounds.
- Velcro strap didn’t hold tightly.
What’s the point of uneven ground?
If your ladder leg is positioned in one of these bumps, hollows, or undulations, all hell can break loose as you tumble down with hedge cutters in hand. The ladders just won’t be stable either.
Even if you really want to, you could wedge some wood or garden sleepers under one leg. But honestly, would I agree with you if you did?
There is no doubt that ladders will last a very long time, so choosing a safe one pays off.
What size ladder do you need to buy?
Obviously, it depends on the size of each job, so plan ahead. Keep in mind that you will not be standing at the top of your ladders, so keep a few rungs down for safety purposes, but you’ll have the extra reach with the hedge cutters, and the added arm reach height.
The type of ladder you choose to use depends on how stable it is compared to other ladder types, such as extension ladders or step ladders.
In general, step ladders require you to stand no higher than two steps down from the highest step, so we recommend adopting a similar strategy whenever possible, but with tripod ladders, it’s important to have the right safety measures in place.
As a result, if you want to stand at the top, you need to choose one with a safety rail and a solid platform. Some premium models also have a safety rope that you can close behind you while up there so you are fully “locked in” to the top platform (although sadly most platform ladders do not have this).
Can you tell me how much it will cost?
Paying what you want is especially true when it comes to the old saying.
A basic lightweight tripod ladder will cost anywhere from $150 to $200. You may not get all three legs adjustable, only one leg.
In addition to a platform, you might not get a place for tools to be positioned, but you can live without them, especially if you’re going up and down ladders and moving ladders around, for which a platform isn’t really necessary. For ladders with more features and that are taller, the price can go up to $500+.
How Do Ladders Meet OSHA Standards?
A ladder’s use and design are governed by OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
It is important to face the ladder, hold it with one hand, and not carry anything that could throw you off balance while climbing.
Steps, rungs, and cleats of a ladder should be level, parallel, and spaced between 10 and 14 inches. If the ladder is portable, such as a hedge-cutting ladder, the steps and rungs should have non-slip surfaces.
It is especially important to secure and stabilize them when used on slippery and uneven surfaces or in areas with high pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
As well as not overloading the ladder, it should also have a metal spreader or lock system to prevent overspreading.
As well, the ladder should not be shifted while the person on it is climbing it, nor should its height be increased by attaching another ladder or placing it on unreliable bases such as stools or crates.
Is it possible to stand on the top step of a ladder?
The top of portable ladders should never be used for any purpose as per 29 CFR 1910.23(c) of OSHA.
A secondary reason is that any handrail used for support would also be out of reach when you stand on the top step, increasing the chances of the ladder toppling.
What Is The Best Way To Use A Tripod Ladder?
Make sure the ladder is well examined before using it. Place it on the solid ground only. If there is a difference in height between the front legs and the tripod, place the tripod higher.
You should climb the ladder facing the ladder and carry no excess weight. You should go no higher than the fourth step of the ladder. Do not overreach while using the ladder.
For climbing down, follow the same rules as for climbing up. Maintain three-point contact with the ladder.
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What Is The Best Way To Keep A Ladder From Slipping?
Rub your shoe on the ground before placing the ladder, especially on paved surfaces, to ensure that it is not slippery.
Do not put your ladder on a soiled surface if it is slippery or too soft. If either of these is the case, your ladder may collapse under the load.
Use the ladder if the ground isn’t slippery or soft, and be sure its legs are stabilized.
To ensure stability on the soiled ground, make sure the ladder’s legs are lodged slightly into the ground. Using some surfaces as support can prevent slipping on paved ground.
How Do I Choose The Best Gardening Ladder?
You should use a tripod ladder if you are cutting hedges, picking fruits, or doing any other gardening work that requires a ladder.
Designed for the conditions of working in a garden, the tripod ladder offers the most support, stability, and comfort for cutting hedges.
Why tripod ladders for hedge trimming?
What’s wrong with normal ladders you might ask. The simple answer is safety. 3 legs is better than two. Each leg is independent, whereas with a normal ladder it’s just two feet fixed to each other with a ladder rung.
The problem with a ladder is twofold: you have to rely on the ground being even, and you have to lean against the hedge. This does not give you enough room to reach forward safely with your cutters, so you have to lean back, look up, reach up, and balance.
All that is taken away with tripod ladders. You can position yourself at the right height so you can simply hold the cutter out and cut. If there is a grab rail, you can lean against it. Tripod ladders also give you additional stability.
Is it possible to lean a ladder against a hedge?
In case of an emergency, be sure to have someone with you at all times if you lean the ladder against a hedge or tree trunk.
How should hedges be trimmed?
In the garden, bypass pruners are your go-to tool to remove small branches and limbs. These basic pruning shears (also known as secateurs or clippers) can easily remove branches up to one inch in diameter.
How high can a hedge between neighbors be legally?
The local authority does not automatically take action when a hedge grows over 2m (612ft) tall. The law can’t be used to prevent a hedge from growing over 2m (612ft) tall or impairing reasonable enjoyment.
A 24 foot ladder can reach how high?
When a 24 foot extension ladder is placed 6 feet from the wall, it will reach a maximum height of 23 feet and touch the highest point at 17 feet.
With this article about the best ladders for trimming hedges, we hope you’ll be able to choose the right ladder for your needs.
Whether you are a professional topiary artist or you like to do things yourself in your garden, you must use only the safest and most efficient equipment to make your job easier and safer.
Whenever you cut hedges, you should only use a ladder designed specifically for hedge cutting, as these ladders are designed with features tailored to the difficulties you face.
In the event that you are planning to purchase or use a hedge-cutting ladder in your garden, this comprehensive guide should make your task much easier.
A hedge-cutting ladder of assured quality and convenience may also be found in the specially curated list above.