Back at the shop Kevin O’Connor speaks with landscape contractor Lee Gilliam about pruning shrubs. Lee shows Kevin which pruning tools he uses for each type of shrub and why, explaining everything from large hedge trimmers to small hand pruners.
4 Best Tools to Prune Shrubs
Landscape contractor Lee Gilliam knows that every trimming project has the right tool. Back at the shop, Lee shares his preferred tools and methods for trimming shrubs with host Kevin O’Connor.
1. Powered Shears
Powered shears are ideal for big projects. They’re powerful and work fast. They’re also ideal for maintaining a flat plane when shaping large shrubs. These shears are gas-powered and battery-powered, and some have pole extensions and adjustable heads.
2. Long Shears
Lee likes to use long shears to shape and trim shrubs like boxwood. These shears remove a lot of material off quickly and make it easy to shape the shrub regardless of whether they want the natural look or something a bit more groomed.
3. Hand Pruners
Hand pruners are ideal for shrubs that need thinning out and a bit less shaping. With these shears, Lee can reach into the shrub and remove branches to improve air circulation and remove any dead material. He’ll typically cut just before a branch or leaf to promote growth. Once he finishes the hand pruners, he’ll use the long shears to clean these shrubs up.
For shrubs that grow thicker branches, Lee likes to use loppers. These tools apply a lot of leverage and make cutting through thick branches and trunks very easy.
Ultimately, It Depends on the Shrub and the Customer
Ultimately, the right tool depends on the shrub and the customer. Large shrubs require powerful tools, while smaller shrubs might need quick hand pruning. Also, some tools are better for natural looks, while others can handle groomed, geometric shapes.
Lee explains how to use a pair of shears to shape an arborvitae.
Use hedge trimmers to remove height from taller shrubs or complete a large job.