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Hedges are used in the home landscape to provide homeowners with privacy, protect the home from winter drafts and prevent soil erosion around home foundations and in the landscape. Unfortunately, shrubs will continue to grow unless properly pruned. There is no way to stop the growth of a hedge, but, with proper pruning techniques, you can train the hedge to grow only to a specified height. When pruning, only work with the sharpest tools to prevent damage to the branches.
Prune your hedge when planting to a height of 6 inches from the ground. This controls the height from the beginning and makes for a bushier hedge.
Prune the hedge once it reaches the ideal height you want it. Make cuts at branch nodes, making the cut at a 45-degree angle.
Prune the shrub again once it grows another 6 to 8 inches above the desired height. Prune to 2 inches from the last pruning.
Prune the hedge so that it is wider at the bottom than the top to make it dense as opposed to tall. Cut twice a year in spring and in midsummer.
Begin shaping the hedge in the third year to keep it from overgrowing.
- box hedge image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com