How to Prune Your Hedges Like a Pro

Pruning Hedges

Hedges are some of the most underrated landscaping features. Why? Perhaps it’s because a fair number of homeowners don’t understand how to correctly prune them, and show off their true potential to the neighborhood.

But don’t worry: the team at Suburban Lawn Sprinkler Company has compiled a list of helpful pruning tips so you can have the most attractive, well-manicured hedges in town.

What You’ll Need

In terms of tools, you’ll want to grab a hand pruner, hedge trimmer, and level. Tarps, landscape stakes and a roll of mason’s line are also suggested.

When to Prune

Prime pruning time ultimately depends on the type of plant you’re working with. For example, if you’re looking to trim early-spring-flowering shrubs, you should do so soon after they bloom. Summer-flowering plants, on the other hand, should be pruned in winter or early spring, depending upon your local climate. Non-flowering plants should be trimmed only after the new growth has formed.

Light trimming throughout the year is also helpful. It maintains the health of your plant, and makes its care more manageable in the long-term.

How to Prune Hedges 

Creating carefully-crafted hedges is truly an art, and one that you’ll soon be able to master. However, it’s important to keep in mind that hedges must be trained into their shape. Put simply, you’ll have to slowly coax them into the design you envision.

That said, start by choosing younger trees or shrubs that are multi-stemmed and range from 1 to 2 feet high. While planting, you’ll want to trim the plants to about 6 or 8 inches. Toward the end of the first season (or prior to bud-break in the upcoming season), prune roughly half of the growth. Repeat the same tactic in the following year.

The third year is where the fun comes in. At this point, feel free to trim the hedge into its desired shape before it reaches its ideal size. If you wait too long to shear, it will be too late to reach maximum branching at the base. Similarly, once the hedge has reached its desired size, it’s most helpful to maintain a close trim.

With dedication and patience, you too can have elegant, well-pruned hedges in your lawn.

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