Trimming hedges - Knowledgebase Question

Coral Springs, Fl
Avatar for theamazingho
Question by theamazingho
November 3, 2010
I planted cocoplum plants across the front of my house (about 2' apart) approximately 3 months ago and I am now ready to trim them for the first time. How low and wide should I cut them in order to have them intertwine into a solid hedge? Also, is there a trick to cutting them such as cutting the stems on an angle or straight? Thanks.

Answer from NGA
November 3, 2010
Cocoplum plants are easy to grow and they are fast growers so you'll have a nice, thick hedge in no time at all. They will take any amount of pruning so don't be afraid that you'll be making a mistake when pruning yours. The most important consideration is that your pruning tools are sharp. If not, you'll end up with ragged stems which will look unattractive for a month or two until the new growth can cover them up! You can hand prune (labor intensive) or you can prune with hedge trimmers. I take only 3-4 inches off the growing tips when I prune. If your plants are uneven in height you can drive a couple of stakes in the ground and run a line of string across the top at the desired height, then prune at the string level. As for the sides, try to make them even when you prune so that you end up with a wall of cocoplum foliage. It won't matter much whether you cut the stems straight or at an angle: every cut you make will result in two new stems developing from a leaf scar just below the pruning cut. Hope this information is helpful. Enjoy your new hedge!

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