Japanese Holly is a common, beautiful evergreen broad leafed shrub that can often be shaped in to a hedge. Japanese holly are fairly easy to care for, including easy to prune. The best way to prune your holly will depend on its age and whether you are trying to limit the shrubs' size or are simply to guide the plant's shape as it grows. For shaping, simple pinching off of growth will work. However, to limit the size of the hedge, you might need to use shears or hedge trimmers.
Pinch off new growth in areas where you would like to limit growth. This will help you constrain the shape of the hedge. Pinching off also works well for limiting the size of very small Japanese holly shrubs. Japanese holly can be pruned or pinched off at any time of year.
Remove any deadwood before beginning to prune. Dead branches not only get in the way, they adversely affect the health of your Japanese holly.
Carefully use shears or hedge trimmers to reduce the size of an overgrown Japanese holly. Trim an inch or 2, then step back to look at the resulting shape of of the pruning.
Continue trimming in 1- or 2-inch increments until the hedge has reached the desired size and shape. Step back frequently to see the overall effect of the pruning on the hedge.