How to Trim Box Hedges


Box hedges are a common hedge found around most homes in the United States. They can create a nice privacy fence around your property, and they are also a low-maintenance shrub. Box hedges prefer a light trimming in the middle of summer and a more thorough trimming in late summer or early fall. A hedge trimmer is the perfect tool to trim your box hedge, and it can be found at your local home improvement store.

Step 1

Pound two stakes in the ground on each side of your box hedge. Stretch a string between each stake at your desired trimming height, and use a level to get the string level.

Step 2

Run your hedge trimmers along the top of your box hedges at the height of the string. This should create a nice, flat top.

Step 3

Trim the sides of the hedge. You'll want the top of the hedge to be slightly narrower than the bottom of the hedge. This allows sunlight to reach all surfaces of the hedge and promotes a healthy plant.

Step 4

Prune your box hedge a little more heavily every two to three years. Take a pruning shears and thin some of the main stems out, cutting them 6 to 12 inches into the hedge. This will allow more light to penetrate into the hedge and encourage new shoot growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden stakes
  • Hammer
  • String
  • Level
  • Hedge trimmer
  • Pruning shears


  • BBC Gardening Guides: Why and When to Prune Hedges

Who Can Help

  • Boxtrees Nursery: Hedging
Keywords: trim box hedges, prune your box hedge, pound two stakes, stretch a string, encourage new shoot growth

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.