Time to Trim Topiary

May and June are typically the best months to trim boxwood topiary and hedges here on the West Coast, while new spring growth is still soft. Which, according to Jake at Niwaki, is how you get that amazing, super smooth finish we all marvel over when we see it on instagram!

It's best to avoid wet weather because of the risk of spreading boxwood blight*, but you also want to do it before the weather gets too hot and dry so the newly-cut foliage doesn't burn.

And make sure that your cutting tools are super sharp to prevent cuts that brown up! We recommend that you sharpen daily if you're using the shears for long periods of time each day.

Over the summer, you may get a second flush of growth which can be clipped off in late September or early October, again avoiding wet, humid weather because of boxwood blight*. A second autumn prune will keep your topiary and cloud-pruned shapes satisfyingly sharp and crisp through the winter months.

We recommend hand clipping with shears for more control and precision cutting - use two-handed shears for larger shapes and one-handed clippers or barracudas for smaller pieces, tight details and fine finishing. If you are just learning to clip topiary, shears with curved blades work like training wheels on a bicycle :)

Use secateurs, loppers or barracudas to remove woody sections that are distorting the shape of your topiary or hedge before you clip with shears.

Mechanical hedge cutters are not recommended for topiary shapes because they're quick. And that makes it easy to make mistakes that can't easily be fixed.

*If you don't know about boxwood blight yet, best look it up right now. I recommend the Virginia Tech website:  https://ext.vt.edu/agriculture/commercial-horticulture/boxwood-blight.html

Check out of our full collection of topiary tools here...