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How to Prune an Overgrown Hedge | This Old House


Russ if we tried to get up in here with

a stepladder we couldn't get close to

the work because the foliage is so thick

we'd be on the outside looking in first

but with an orchard ladder we can get

inside it's a regular ladder on one side

on the other side it has a post and it

just sets down like that so I can get

right into the tree where I want to go

to work I'm gonna bring this one over

here and just set it up and then we're

gonna go up and pull this brings back

all right I'm gonna place the tree tie

right around the trunk here lock it in

place leaving plenty of room for the

tree to grow okay no I'm locked in

you're wrapped around that other brand

all right I'm gonna pull back and you

just got to cinch up keep going okay far

enough yep you got it tight yep gonna

tight cut it off now you want to bring

it up and lock it right in okay bring it

up leave it leave a loop come up higher

towards me one more towards me more got

it through come on easier said than done

there we go

beautiful look at that awesome while

we're here let's use the rest to pull

this one in a little bit okay yep okay

do the bottom over there first yep but

put it in here so it's away from the

tree we're going down here yep

okay now cut off the excess all right

I'm gonna bring the tree lock through

there around my main branch I don't want

to put it in this crotch because if I

pull on that I could split it so I'm

gonna come just below it with a good

size loop lock it in place pull my

branch up where I want it to stay and

we're just going to cut this off

all right I think it's starting to look

pretty good we've tied it back as far as

we can it's time to start pruning I

think it looks great pruning let's go a

hold of a second big guy

I hate hedge trimmers let me show you

why take a look at this branch this is

where you came by with the trimmers and

it just cut indiscriminately look at all

the growth that's coming in behind it

all the buds have popped when it does

that it makes a thick thick wall like

this and you don't get any growth inside

so you can't cut these back any father

you have to cut them in the same place

year after year and they continue to

grow out so what we're gonna do is we're

gonna do some hand pruning you got a

branch like this that's sticking out

almost a foot beyond the hedge you can't

make a cut just come into the middle of

a stem and make a cut like that it'll

take three or four years for that to

sprout out or it'll die so what we want

to find is a spot where there's already

new growth see all the new growth right

here so we're gonna just take the

pruners we're gonna make a cut there

this will become the dominant branch

these will fill in all the sunlight can

come in here we'll get new growth Wow so

we're gonna take the hand pruners and

just go along and work away cutting

everything back these things are just

ready to start growing and they're gonna

fill in here really really quickly I

really feel like I'm just making holes

well that's what you're supposed to be

doing so that's a good thing

that's just gonna allow the sunlight in

and make your hedge thicker and stronger

up in the top here I'm making some

pretty good size cut that branch is

almost 1 inch in diameter so what I have

to use is this pole pruna you put the

branch inside the hook pull down on the

rope and it cuts it off clean and we'll

make short work of those big diameter

branches well I can't believe how much

stuff we cut off these bushes well look

at the holes we made in here that's

gonna allow sunlight to go in the plants

gonna start growing on the inside in a

year or two we can cut these back even


Wow Wow it's a little bit more work than

I thought it was using the hand trimmer

than the way I was doing it before but

look at these plants they're all nice

and fluffy and loose throw those hedge

trimmers away I will