How to Trim Shrubbery to Look Natural

You may have some older shrubs that you want to begin to trim to look more natural, or you may have just planted shrubs that you want to maintain in a natural manner. Here are some tips for trimming your shrubbery to look natural.

Trim at the Right Time

When you trim or prune, make sure it is a dormant period meaning no new growth and no blooms. If you wait until new growth is done, you can see the shape of the plant as it grows naturally.

Make the Right Cuts at the Right Place

Cut cleanly with no jagged edges at a 45 degree angle—not straight across. Cut right above a joint or where a new smaller branch is growing out of a larger branch. If the shrub has 3 smaller branches growing out of a main branch, trim off the middle one.

Keep the Plant's Natural Lines

You are not going to cut straight across like you would with a hedge trimmer. You are going to follow the plant's shape. Reach down into the shrub or bush and "thin out" branches and stems where there is a lot of thick growth or where they are crossing each other. Don't cut off new growth at the ends. Cut sparingly and step back and eyeball the plant every so often to make sure it looks natural.