How to Prune Hedges


The amount of pruning a hedge requires depends on the style of the hedge and the type of plant used. For example, a formal yew (Taxus baccata) hedge will need precise clipping two or three times a year, whilst an informal hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) may be trimmed just once a year.

Formal hedges must be pruned regularly to maintain their neat shape; this also has the effect of preventing flowers and fruits from developing.

Informal hedges are generally pruned simply to control their size and spread, to cut out any disease or damage and to encourage new shoots to appear. This is usually carried out after any displays of flowers have finished; however, hedges that also produce berries (such as hawthorn) should be left unpruned until the berries have finished fruiting, or the birds have eaten them.

In this section, we take a look at shaping, trimming and renovating a neglected hedge, and include a guide to pruning newly planted or established formal hedging.

Shaping Hedges
Find out how you can create a shaped hedge to help deflect snow and high winds.
Trimming Hedges
A look at how and when to trim your deciduous or evergreen hedge.
Renovating Hedges
Advice on how to renovate a neglected hedge.
Guide to Hedge Pruning
Everything you need to know about when and how to newly planted or established hedges.