Hedges are used in garden and yard landscaping for their decorative value, to mark property lines and to provide privacy from nosy neighbors. Hedges require a lot of yearly maintenance, including fertilization, watering, training and an annual pruning. To trim hedges evenly, use a level and keep the top of the hedge smaller than the bottom. Pruning shapes the plant and promotes the growth of blossoms, if it is a flowering shrub.
Cut the hedge once it reaches the ideal height. Place a level or yardstick on top of the hedge to keep the cut straight, and step back every few cuts to check that it is even.
Cut the branches at the bottom of the shrub so that they are wider than the top. Wide hedge tops shade the lower portions, stunting growth and promoting disease.
Trim the sides so they slope towards the top. Make the grade even, keeping the bottom wider than the top of the hedge.
Shear the hedge after blooms form in the spring, cutting the branch just below the blooming area. This stimulates new growth for the rest of the season.
Apply a 16-16-16 combination fertilizer later in the spring to promote green growth.