The Q&A Archives: triming shrubs

Question: My son uses an electric shrub trimer to cut off new growth on the tops. It appears from your article this is not the best way to renew the shape. Does this harm the plant?

Answer: Pruning encourages new growth so trimming shrubs will help renew them and keep them lush and full. A shrub trimmer is just fine to use, but I would encourage your son to trim the entire shrub, not just the top. This way the new growth will emerge from all the branches of the shrub and maintain a compact and healthy growth pattern. As long as you don't remove more than one-third of the live material on the shrub, electric trimmers are just fine to use. Best wishes with your shrubs.

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