How to Cut a Topiary Bear


The art of topiary dates back to Egyptian times, when densely-growing potted shrubs were cut into geometric shapes. Today, when most people think of topiary, they think of fanciful animals cut into shrubbery such as the kind showcased at Walt Disney World. Although Disney topiaries are constructed of vines that grow on wire frames, you can create fanciful topiary of your own using shrubs with thick growth such as boxwood hedges.

Step 1

Unlatch a bear-shaped topiary frame around the center seam and place it around a shrub that has reached the proper height. Latch the topiary frame together along the center seam with the shrub in its center.

Step 2

Insert the wires at the ground level into the soil around your shrub to increase the topiary's stability.

Step 3

Pull the branches of your shrub out of the topiary frame so that the frame is hidden beneath the branches.

Step 4

Saturate a cloth with bleach and swipe the cloth along the shears to disinfect them.

Step 5

Trim the shrub into the bear form using the wire frame as a guide. Do not remove more than 3 inches from the tip of any of the shrub's branches. Schedule pruning sessions for your topiary every three months. Prune your shrub down to the topiary frame in stages, removing no more than 3 inches each pruning session. When you reach the frame, pinch the tips of each branch to encourage side shoots to form. The foliage will grow back denser and will obscure the topiary frame.

Things You'll Need

  • Boxwood shrub
  • Wire bear frame
  • Hedge clippers
  • Bleach
  • Cloth


  • Topiary Arts: Cutting and Shaping
  • Topiary in the United Kingdom: Topiary in the United Kingdom
  • Disney World Orlando and the Unoffical Guide: Topiary at WDW

Who Can Help

  • Artificial Plants and Trees: How to Make a Topiary Tree
  • Garden Artisans: Topiary Frames
Keywords: how to make topiary, shaping topiary, trimming a topiary bear

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."