The Q&A Archives: Shrubs Shaping

Question: When I see several shrubs and they are perfectly shaped the same how do you accomplish this feat? How do they keep the shape the same on every single shrub in a row? You may see eight or nine shrubs in a row and the size and shape are exactly the same. How do they do this?

Answer: The most accurate way is to set out posts with string running taut between them to mark the desired heights and widths. Or, the gardener may be following a benchmark on the house such as window sill height, if it is along a foundation. When you prune, prune slowly and step back often to check your work. (You can always prune more off, but once cut you can't put it back on!) Pruning in topiary form takes some skill which gardeners learn over time. Also, really intricate forms often have a metal framework inside to help the gardener know exactly where to cut. I hope this helps.

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