Hedges 101

Hedges provide a nice green soft way of providing privacy or visually blocking unwanted views and making green fences.

There are two basic types of hedges: large shrubs that grow dense and compact, and some trees that respond well to topping (a "no no" for most trees). These trees generate new growth from below when pruned, developing a thick mass of compact vegetation.

Tree type hedges generally grow faster and taller than shrub hedges. This can be an advantage but they also need to be pruned more often, and if not topped regularly they can become sparse.

Eugenia myrtifolia

Eugenia privacy hedge along sidewalk

Podocarpus gracilior

Podocarpus gracilior hedge along driveway

Ligustrum hedge

Ligustrum hedge along sidewalk - Texas Privet

Viburnum hedge

Viburnum hedge with white flowers hanging over rock wall

The first rule of pruning is to understand that when a plant is pruned in one spot it grows in another. By topping the hedge the plant sprouts growth below. By pruning the sides we keep it dense.

Pruned Podocarpus henkelii Hedge

Podocarpus henkelii Long Leaf Yellowwood

Improperly Pruned Hedge

an improperly pruned hedge along fence, with holes in barrier reducing privacy