Shaping shrubs is a way to manipulate the direction a plant will grow. We might want to shape the growth of a shrub so that it grows in a particular direction or so that it doesn’t grow in a particular direction.

This article will briefly cover how to shape a shrub with secateurs rather than a hedger.

We might want to direct the growth of a shrub away from a building or walkway or toward a water feature. Irrespective of the reason, I’ll show you how to do it.

Looking at the drawing below, we can see that the left hand image represents a shrubs natural growth. We can see a trunk and two branches one left and the other to the right.

drawing of shrub with natural growth and then also one that has been pruned

If we left it to grow, that shrub would continue to grow out to the left and out to the right and also upward.

The drawing of the shrub to the right has been pruned. The right hand lower branch has been snipped off at the node – junction with the trunk. The trunk has been snipped just above the left pointing node. So this shrub would grow to the left. If we left the shrub to grow to the left without any further pruning it would likely become unbalanced and possibly split. Therefore, future pruning would likely be required. Use the same principles to direct future growth.

Click here to read about how pruning can ruin a plant.

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