Shrubs and hedgerows provide a wealth of shapes, sizes and colors to the landscape. These perennial plants look great whether meticulously trimmed and shaped or left to grow free and can be used to provide privacy, borders or to hide particular eyesores in the yard. Whether you choose flowering shrubs, butterfly bushes, lilacs, evergreen or spirea, trimming and pruning keep these specimens healthy and encourage fuller growth year after year.
The Arizona Cooperative Extension states that hand-operated, scissor-action hedge shears are the best tool for trimming shrubs and hedges. Hedge shears allow you to control the angle and height of the cut and can break through tougher stems without getting stuck. Shears, readily available at any local garden center, hardware or retail store, come in a variety of blade and handle lengths.
Electric hedge trimmers, from manufacturers such as Black & Decker, Makita and Homelite, make trimming hedges and shrubs a much quicker chore than hand trimming. Sold with or without cords, electric trimmers feature single- or dual-action blades, some of which can handle stems and branches up to 1/2 inch in diameter.
Pruning saws make light work of thicker branches when heavier pruning and trim work is required. Brands, including Fiskars and Corona, are sold with blades ranging in length from 6 to 13 inches. Certain styles are foldable, while others are attached to poles for work on taller shrubs and trees.