How to Prune Hedges for Optimum Health

Hedge maintenance is a simple process that can be easily integrated into a landscape routine. Many people have been asking about How to trim hedges. Pruning hedges contributes to its overall health and keeps it to the desired size.

  • InstantHedge delivers uniformly pruned, finished hedges, so a simple annual maintenance trim is all that is required. In the first year of installation, pruning should be kept to a minimum to allow the hedge to acclimate to space. Vigorous shoots that outgrow their companions can be clipped, but that is it.

  • In the second year of growth and beyond, annual hedge trimming should begin. Frequency and intensity will depend on the hedge type. Slow-growing hedges (like Emerald Green Arborvitae) may only need a trim once every 2-3 years, while fast-growing hedges (like Green Giant Arborvitae or laurels) may need 2 trims per year, especially if they are intended to be a compact, formal hedge. Pruning requirements for some of our most popular hedges can be found in the following tables:

how to trim hedges

Light Pruning ‘<1x’ per Year

Emerald Green Arborvitae, Hicks Yew, Holly, Arrowwood Viburnum, Purple Beech

trimming hedges

Moderate Pruning 1-2x per Year

Virescens Western Red Cedar, American Arborvitae, Portuguese Laurel, Schip Laurel, Fagus Sylvatica, Green Mountain Boxwood, Royal Star Magnolia, Bald Cypress, Teton Firethorn, European Hornbeam

pruning hedges

Regular Pruning 2x per Year

Green Giant Arborvitae, English Laurel, Flame Amur Maple

  • Pruning hedges in Late spring, early fall,or winter (when the hedges are fully dormant) are the best times to prune. Don’t prune during very hot, dry weather, and prune well before your first frost date. Try to prune on a cloudy day to avoid excessive leaf burn.

Best way to cut hedges
  • When pruning conifer hedges (Thujas, Taxus, etc), do not wait too long between trims. If you allow them to become overgrown, then try to remedy it by pruning hard, they will most likely not backbud and “fill in”. They have less latent buds than other types of shrubs, so you will just end up with unattractive, partially bare hedges. Trim more often and less severely for the best results.

Hedge trimming
  • To encourage height increase, simply prunethe sides and allow the top of the hedge to grow freely.

trimming hedges
  • Focusing on How to trim hedges, It may seem strange, but to keep your hedge healthy, you will want to prune it slightly smaller at the top. This will help allow more sunlight to the bottom of your hedge, keeping it healthy and vigorous.

  • Hand-held hedge pruners are the best way to trim hedges for control, and an electric hedge trimmer also works well. Make sure whichever tool you use is as sharp as possible to avoid unnecessary damage and stress to the hedge.

  • Take your time. Trim for a minute, then step back and make sure you are following the line of the hedge. You can always trim more, but you can’t undo a careless cut.

how to trim hedges
By |2019-09-10T12:57:03+00:00January 15th, 2019|Care Guides|