Question: We have a hedge screening our property from the neighbors. How should we prune it to keep it dense? It seems to be thinning out.

Answer: Hedges should be pruned wider at their bases than they are at their tops. That ensures maximum sunlight can reach the bottom leaves. In reality, it’s best to let the plants grow naturally so you don’t get into the routine of regular trimming. If at all possible, do your pruning with lopping shears rather than hedge shears or power trimmers. Shrubs will also stay more compact and denser clear to the ground if they’re not crowded together. For most types that means you’ll want them almost as far apart as they’ll be allowed to grow in height.

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