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Using shears—whether hand-held pruners with long scissor like blades or a power trimmer—to take off branch tips keeps hedges neat and tidy, and also stimulates bud production near the plants' edges. But as buds multiply, a shrub can get so thick that sunlight can't penetrate it, preventing interior growth. The result: a hedge that gets larger each year and looks lifeless inside. Proper pruning allows some sunlight to get in and enables you to cut back shrubs so they don't get too big.

Hedges: About
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