How to Trim Ball-Shaped Shrubs

Written by marlene affeld
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Ornamental shrubs, either deciduous or evergreen, are grown in country gardens and urban landscapes. Shrubs are relatively small, low growing plants with multiple thick or woody stems. Shrubs provide spring flowers, summer greenery and brilliant fall foliage. Many shrubs offer berries or seeds that attract birds and wildlife. Shrubs come in many shapes and sizes. Those trimmed in ball shapes are especially attractive when planted as focal specimens, however they require yearly pruning to maintain their globelike shape.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Garden gloves
  • Sharp pruning shears

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  1. 1

    Use small, sharp pruning shears. Pruning creates a wound on the shrub that can allow disease to enter. Always use clean, sharp tools to make a clean cut with no snags. Pruning is simply the cutting away of excessive growth, or branches damaged by winds or disease.

  2. 2

    Prune shrubs during the growing season; late spring is best. Removing dead blooms and fruit clusters will encourage more flowers the following spring.

  3. 3

    Trim slowly, removing only a few branches at a time until the desired shape is achieved.

  4. 4

    Prune to accommodate the natural growth pattern of the shrub. A tall, pyramidal shrub does not adapt well to being cut in a round shape and will not be full enough for the desired balance. Short, bushy shrubs best lend themselves to circular cutting.

  5. 5

    Enlist the services of a professional tree trimmer. Shrubs can be a substantial investment, so it may be prudent to have an experienced landscape pruner trim your shrubs the first time to establish a pattern you can then maintain.

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