Boxwood Hedge pruning

I planted a boxwood hedge about 30 years ago that is now large and mature. It is about 20’ long x 4.5’ high and wide. In the last couple of years, I’ve not been as careful about pruning it as I was in the past, so it has well-established solid growth below but has become a little bit scraggly on top in particular.

This year the snow is being a bit more problematic, and I won’t know for sure until spring but I suspect I’m getting some breakage. So, my question is, if I prune it quite heavily but still within the green growth areas, would that be a good idea? Would it help with the structure of the plants and encourage them to fill in gaps from snow damage?

Thanks for your thoughts!

When we moved into our home, we inherited a bunch of boxwood ball shaped plants. One had a large chunk of missing vegetation. I kept pruning the indentation lightly in Spring and Fall and, after five years, it’s almost grown into a complete ball form.

I have read that boxwood will grow back on old wood (albeit more slowly) so I would say that you should prune your scraggly growth off…even if you have to cut into old wood. But you may want to double check that!

1 Like

Thanks, Lorna, that is encouraging. I don’t think I need to cut into the old wood, but perhaps close to it. It’s actually interesting to see how much better parts of the hedge have stood up to the heavy snow, where I’ve had to keep it particularly cut back because of nearby plants, and the areas where it’s just for shape and size. I’ve obviously not kept it as well cut there as I should have.

1 Like