question about pruning English boxwood

+3
Answered
Walter or anyone else......My Dad told me that he heard on the Saturday morning gardening show that you should not prune English boxwood using gas powered hedge trimmers. He said that it should only be done using manual shears. Is this correct? If so, why is that the case? What harm can you do the shrub?
  6 answers
  • Erica Glasener Erica Glasener on Jan 30, 2012
    Scott, I don't know that using electric hedge trimmers would damage your boxwood but it will leave it looking tattered, but if you take the time to cut out sections, in other words, pruning a branch so that it doesn't cut leaves in half, and you can open up the shrub to let light into the interior and encourage more growth.

  • Scott R Scott R on Jan 30, 2012
    My Dad seems to think somehow that the plant won't grow out correctly when trimmed using electric or gas powered trimmers. I asked him how the plant would know the difference LOL.

  • Erica Glasener Erica Glasener on Jan 30, 2012
    You're right Scott, I also try to remember that the plants don't read the books or blogs. LOL

  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Jan 30, 2012
    Erica is right. Trimmers create a thick shell of green leaves that shade the interior of the shrub. Better to use hand pruners to open it up and let light stimulate green growth inside.

  • Scott R Scott R on Jan 31, 2012
    thanks walter. I was hoping to hear directly from you.

  • Meem Kaplan Meem Kaplan on Apr 03, 2016
    The most common error in pruning hedges is pruning them straight up and down. Think of how a tree grows, wider at the bottom so the lower branches get sun nourishment. Always (!) leave it wider at the bottom than the top. It doesn't have to be extreme but I see so many hedges that are dying out lower down because those branches, leaves are kept from the sun. My father was a professional "gardener" and he taught me this.