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How to Trim Hedges in the Heat

By Melissa Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017
Trimming hedges encourages more blooms.
poinsettia hedge 3. image by mdb from Fotolia.com

Hedges are trimmed to shape, produce more blooms and to encourage fuller growth. The ideal time to trim hedges varies among bushes. In general, spring-blooming hedges are pruned after they flower in the late spring or early summer. Summer blooming hedges and hedges that do not bloom are pruned in late winter or early spring before new growth appears. If you missed these windows or if some branches just need to go, the hedges can be trimmed in the heat. Next year, however, try do the trimming during the ideal time for your particular hedge.

Water the hedges well about two to three days before trimming to get them well-hydrated before they become stressed from pruning.

Prune in the evening so the hedge will not be immediately exposed to the hottest part of the day.

Limit the trimming in mid- to late-summer.

Trim diseased, broken and weak branches anytime of the year, including during hot weather. Adhere to the first two steps to help the hedge handle the stress of pruning.


Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Pruning or lopping shears


  • For spring blooming hedges, be careful not to inadvertently cut off this year's branches, which will bloom next year. In addition, for all hedges, if you trim too late in the summer and the weather cools before new growth has time to mature, you could cause cold damage or winter kill to the hedge.

About the Author


Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.