This is a case where the way "everybody does it" is the wrong way! Take a look at most hedges and you will see them trimmed like "B" above with the bottom wider than the top. What this does is block sunlight from hitting the lower parts of the plant. Leaves need light in order to maintain themselves so, lacking light, the branches on the lower parts are leafless. Since hedges are normally intended to block the view from one side to the other, this is not acceptable.

The proper way to prune a hedge is, of course, like picture "A" above with the bottom tapered wider than the top. This will allow full sunlight to hit all levels of the plant so they can maintain foliage from top to bottom. The hedge will look and function to the best of its ability.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.


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