Tall dark shady hedges are a burglar's friend. A large bush beside the
front door provides a place to lurk out of sight. Overhanging trees
reduce the light getting in from the sun or streetlamps and block the
neighbours' view. A private back garden allows a housebreaker to force
a door or window without anyone being the wiser. To the front,
overgrown hedges are a giveaway that an older person lives at this address.
Reduce big hedges to shoulder height or less. Remove overhanging tree
branches, prune branches away from windows and
thin them out to admit more light. A bush beside a door should be only
waist height. Make sure that you have a clear view down your back
garden. Keep the front hedge trimmed once or twice a year - if you
cannot do it yourself, ask a professional, a relative or the local
When people grow older they may develop mobility problems which make
gardening difficult. Climbing onto a stepladder becomes a problem and
seniors may be reluctant to use power tools, reach for branches over
their heads or stand all day clipping a hedge.
Make hedges and shrubs an easy height and
width for maintenance. This may be a big once-off job but it reduces
annual work and clippings for disposal. Many hedges will benefit from
this treatment, but Cypress are unable to regenerate if cut too hard,
so seek professional advice. Leave some shelter and berries for the
birds. If your hedge or tree causes problems to a neighbour, they may
be willing to pay for the work they need done. Ask a tree surgeon to
check trees for safety every few years.
Many chancers will knock on doors and offer to cut trees and hedges.
Often they use stolen equipment, including stolen Council reflective
jackets. They wildly overcharge, are not insured, don't give an
address, damage phone and power lines, dump clippings illegally and
they may be getting a look at where you keep valuables and cash.
Only employ a firm via the Golden Pages or a
personal reference. A mobile number is not sufficient. Ask if they are
insured. If the person isn't knowledgeable about gardens, don't hire
them. Different plants require different pruning. If you don't like a
quote, get another firm to quote. Never pay cash in advance and
a reputable firm will always be willing to take a cheque and provide a
receipt. If you are particularly worried, take down the vehicle
registration number and call your local Garda station.