How to Prune With Electric Shears


Electric shears are a great tool to prune your shrubs and hedges. The new growth usually has uniformly thin branches and twigs that the electric shears can cut through easily. New growth from shrubs and hedges can get quite unsightly in a short period. If not pruned regularly, shrubs and hedges will become severely overgrown and pruning will be difficult or sometimes impossible. Electric shears are really easy to use once you adjust to how they operate.

Step 1

Set up a string along the length of your hedge. Pound a post into the ground on each side of the hedge and tie a string between the two posts. Level the string; you will be using this as a guide for shearing your hedge.

Step 2

Shape your hedge. Shear the top even with the line down the entire length of the hedge. Round the edges of the top to keep snow from building up on top of the hedge in the winter months. Shear the hedge so that the bottom is wider than the top. This allows full sunlight penetration to the entire hedge.

Step 3

Shear evergreen shrubs and hedges in spring as well as mid-to-late summer. Shear deciduous shrubs in the late winter while dormant and again in the summer to clean up their appearance. This will keep your hedges looking their best.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear safety glasses when using electric shears. The plant material can become airborne when shearing and may harm your eyes if they are not protected.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 posts
  • Hammer
  • String
  • Level
  • Safety glasses


  • Scotts: How to Prune Hedges
  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service: Pruning Ornamental Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: prune hedges, electric shears, sunlight penetration, dormant buds, old wood, new wood

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.