Unsightly, yellowish and unkempt are some of the signs and is a wakeup call for you to trim that sad looking hedge neighbouring your yard.

Instead of using wooden fences or walls, a row of thick shrubs is a popular way to define border line nowadays. It improves the aesthetic of your yard as well. However similarly nothing kills the aesthetics of your yard like hedges that need a trim.

Like all shrubs and plants, hedges required regular feeding, watering and pruning to maintain their lush green all year round. The watering and feeding are done by most of us and is easy but the pruning is where most of use lose it.

Here are some of the basics that every homeowner must know when it comes to the art of pruning.

Tip 1: Shearing must be combined with hand pruning

Use shears whether its long scissors or even an electric hedge trimmer to remove branch tips. This keeps these shrubs tidy and neat and also encourages the growth of bud production.

However, the simulation and multiplication of buds can prevent sunlight from reaching the insides of the hedge.  The result of this is the large hedge with a dead inside. Proper pruning will prevent this from happening can make sure than some sunlight gets in and the hedge doesn’t overgrow.

So evetime you shear make sure to use hand pruners to make some spaces for sunlight to get in. This can be done by reaching inside and clipping a branch or two a foot apart.  However, if the hedge is old you might have to do some rejuvenation pruning.

Tip 2: Winter Is the Ideal Pruning Season

Late into the winter is when most of the plants are dormant. This means that there is no bud produced.

Breaking the bud before you prune is a bad habit because this means you are cutting off spent energy. This means the hedge will take longer to fil out.

Evergreens are slow growing shrubs and will require pruning early in the season. They will often off-colour tips and likely bare well into the summer as new growth start to pop up. Faster growing shrubs like spirea, privet and viburnum are much forgiving.

The key rule when it comes to flowering shrubs is to wait for the bloom to turb brown and then start pruning.

Tip 3: Wider at the bottom, Narrower at the Top

If left without any pruning, naturally the top will grow wider because this part receives most of the sunlight. This creates a V shape which further blocks out the bottom bits.

So, when pruning the opposite of this should happen. Meaning we should trim the top to be narrower and the bottom to grow wider. Start from the bottom and work your way up.

Tip 4: Differ between privacy and hedge pants

A hedge is not suitable if you want to block an unwanted view.  Hedges are usually maintained at 6 to 8 feet while privacy pants can go up to 30 feet. Privacy plants are wider too and consists of a mix of different plants.

Don’t let hedges grow over just because you want privacy. If privacy is what you are after look for bigger tress.