How to Trim Hedges Evenly

Overview

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Trim the sides so they slope towards the top. Make the grade even, keeping the bottom wider than the top of the hedge.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Apply a 16-16-16 combination fertilizer later in the spring to promote green growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Yardstick or level

References

  • Purdue University Extension Service: Hedges
  • Oregon State University: Trim Hedges and Heaths in Spring
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: trim hedges evenly, pruning hedges, hedge maintenance

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.