How to Cut Box Hedges


Box hedges make elegant boundaries to home gardens and lawns. But without a regular pruning schedule, hedges can look messy and overgrown. Evergreen hedges grow quickly and can be trimmed up to three times a year. Thorough shaping should be done in mid-August in time for new growth to emerge before the growing season is over. An electric hedge trimmer makes easy work of cutting box hedges and reduces uneven cuts.

Step 1

Put on safety goggles and thick gloves for protection against scrapes and cuts.

Step 2

Plug in electric trimmer to a safety socket or circuit breaker. This reduces the risk of injury and ensures that the engine will cut off if there is an accident.

Step 3

Drape electric cable over one shoulder and keep away from blade throughout trimming process.

Step 4

Make slow, controlled motions with your electric trimmer to cut off stray branches until top is completely flat.

Step 5

Work your way along the upper edge of your hedge and trim the top 1 to 2 inches. Step back 2 to 3 feet occasionally and be sure your work is even.

Step 6

Return to your starting point and trim the next 1 to 2 inches of hedge. Always use slow, controlled movements to make even cuts.

Step 7

Trim the sides into a flat plane. Keep the top slightly narrower than the base to provide support for the weight of the hedge.

Step 8

Remove cut branches from the area around your box hedges. This keeps the area looking tidy and prevents the spread of fungal diseases.

Tips and Warnings

  • Follow all safety precautions when using power equipment.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric trimmer
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves


  • BBC: Pruning Hedges
  • Boxtrees Nursery: Hedging
Keywords: box hedges, trim hedges, cut hedges

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.