How to Cut a Tree Into a Topiary


Shrubs sculpted into a variety of shapes and forms can make a fun or elegant addition to your home. Plants dense in foliage work best, such as a boxwood or holly. It is best to cut your topiary once all danger of frost has passed. Always clean and oil your tools before storing. Following a few simple steps will give your shrubs an elegant spiraled look.

Step 1

Cut your shrub into a cone shape using an electric hedge trimmer, if necessary. Keep it large on the bottom and tapered at the top. The best shrubs for this are tall with a single main stem.

Step 2

Tie twine or ribbon to the top of the shrub and lightly wrap it around like a candy cane. Stand back and take a look at it to make sure it is evenly wrapped.

Step 3

Cut into the tree using your pruning shears along the line of the twine or ribbon, pruning all the way down to the center of the shrub.

Step 4

Remove the twine or ribbon and begin trimming and rounding off the edges of the spiral.

Step 5

Trim at the beginning of each summer to maintain the look.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric hedge trimmer, if necessary
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Pruning shears


  • Topiary Arts
Keywords: spiral topiary, shrubs, landscaping

About this Author

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Karen has worked four years as a professional writer and editor, writing for the online source eHow with articles such as "How to Make Chocolate Chip Biscotti" and "How to Make Marshmallow Fondant," and editing scripts for A Work In Progress, an inspirational radio drama.