when to prune hedges? - Knowledgebase Question

Howell, Mi
Question by foreveraroun
July 22, 2009
I'd like to know the ideal time of year to prune my hedges. Also, would you recommend how I may be able to have fuller growth toward the bottom of the hedge? Thank you, Valerie Shaver

Answer from NGA
July 22, 2009


If your hedges flower, you can prune immediately after they have finished flowering. If they do not flower, you can prune in the spring just as new growth begins. Or, you can prune them back now. If you prune in the summer, try to plan it so the plants have adequate time to grow and harden off that new growth before frost arrives. I'd prune prior to about mid-August. When you prune, take off less than one third of the growth - more can stress your plants. If you need to reduce the size more than that, plan on doing so over a 2-3 year period. Lots of hedging type plants get leggy when the tops of the plants are wider than the bottoms. If the tops are wide they tend to shade the lower limbs and branches. So, try to keep your hedges wider at the bottom and thinner or skinnier at the top (almost like a pyramid or triangle). Pruning encourages new growth towards the center of the plant as well as the outer parts. For this reason it's a good idea to prune every year. Hope this answers all your questions about hedge pruning.

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