Hi, I'm Scott Reil and on behalf of expertvillage.com I'd like to talk to you about tree and shrub maintenance. Hedges are a great way to separate you from the neighbors, both for privacy reasons and maybe to even mark that privacy boundary. It can be an improvement over walls in a lot of ways. Walls and fences tend to create ear foils, they cause air to flow over it and then pick up speed on the downside. You can often fry your garden by using a fence, but a hedge allows the breeze to blow through it slowing down the wind speeds and creating a nice tranquil garden on the other side. Hedges are fairly easy to maintain, but I see them done wrong a lot, so just a few quick tips here to help keep your hedge in shape. The thing that I see done wrong most often is the way people prune it. They'll either prune it very flat right down the side or sometimes they'll even prune them in on a V-shape, so that on the bottom gets shaded out by the top. So when you prune we want to make sure that we prune back in on an angle that slopes and slants like this, allowing the base to get as much light as the top. Now I've already pruned this up a little bit over the past couple of seasons, so it's pretty easy for me to follow the line. But if you're pruning a hedge for the first time, you might actually want to create a form, something that let's you know a steady angle that you can move down the hedge and help keep track of how your line is going to look later. Another thing to remember is these are great for taking tips off of branches like this, but if we find big heavier branches like this, that's too big for the hedge shears. Now on something like this there's a lot of dead ugly there, so what I'll do is go right back in take that whole branch out on the inside, eventually these other newer fresher twigs are going to fill into that space. So remember with hedges, it's important that the bottom gets as much light as the top and that you prune regularly to maintain a nice even smaller grill from the outside, do that and you'll be able to maintain your hedges easily and keep your yard looking great year around.