How to Trim Hedges Evenly


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


  • 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, 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.