Question: I need to get a hedge to thicken up better. Will pruning help?

Answer: Usually. Every place that you cut a stem, you should get three or four branches back in its place. You can also change an upright pattern of growth into a more rounded shape by careful trimming. Be careful, however, when you’re pruning screening hedges, that you don’t cut them back too many times at exactly the same heights. Hedge shears can be a big foe of healthy plant growth. It’s always better to let them grow fairly naturally, then gently to “sculpt ” them with your shears.

Note: See specific plants for their pruning guidelines.

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