Removing leaves and branches that have fallen off will allow more light and air to reach the middle of the shrub. Most types grow slowly, so one pruning a year keeps them in bounds. Use sharp, clean pruning shears to snip off the dead sections, making the cut at the base of the branch. During the flowering period, restrict your pruning. Hedge trimmers are gas, electric, or battery-powered tools that have long oscillating blades. I just did this with an upright variety of boxwood which I trim in a cone shape from the bottom up to help it keep its shape. How to Prune a Dogwood. For tips on how to cope with boxwood blight, keep reading! Boxwoods suffer badly in winter because they’re native to areas where winters are very mild. Your tools should be sharp enough to leave a straight, clean cut. Boxwoods have fallen out of favor with some gardeners in recent years. Protecting boxwood in winter is no small task, but boxwood winter damage is no small thing for your shrub. "Working on my success story now, everything on our property was planted by dad's mother over 80 years ago. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Luke Gustafson, Agent Associate for UME Charles County shows how and why you should prune your boxwood to keep them healthy and disease-free. For hedge-bound boxwood, any hedge trimmer or long-bladed shears will do fine. If your boxwood has become overgrown, all you'll need is a pair of sharp, clean pruning shears or loppers. For creating sharp-angle boxwood hedges, you should prune with hedge clippers. Cultivars such as “Green Gem” (Buxus “Green Gem”) grow to a compact 2 feet high and wide and are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. This video shows you how to repair damaged boxwoods using arbor chain. For tips on how to cope with boxwood blight, keep reading! Begin by pruning away dead or damaged branches with a pruning shear, lopper, or a saw. Evergreen plants should begin the shutting down process in August, so when the winter comes, they are completely dormant. But nevertheless, it is not necessary to place these plants close to a wall. Boxwoods, because of their dense foliage, often die out in the center from a lack of sunlight. If you are able to save some branches, full recovery will take several years. Thanks.". Shears can damage large leaves, however, causing them to turn brown and die, so on large-leaved plants such as rhododendron use pruners, not shears. In this case, 96% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Boxwoods are hardy, durable shrubs. Replace the solution after every 10 plants you prune, or after using the disinfectant for two hours. ", "We moved into a old house where the hedges had not been pruned for years. This shrub all often used in mass or as a hedge but their care can be the same if used as a specimen. She holds a master's degree in journalism. Sarah Moore has been a writer, editor and blogger since 2006. Also remove any dead branches at this time as well as plant debris that accumulates in the center of the shrubs. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. Prune evergreen shrubs (yew, holly, and boxwoods) and evergreen trees (spruce, fir) in late winter or early spring when they are still dormant and before new growth begins. By using our site, you agree to our. If your boxwood blight is serious, do a quick search online to find the best strategy for fixing your shrubs. Missouri Botanical Garden Kemper Center for Home Gardening: Winter Damage to Boxwoods, North Carolina State University: Growing Boxwoods in the Landscape, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: Boxwood Culture and Care, Missouri Botanical Garden: "Buxus" Green Giant, Missouri Botanical Garden: Buxus Sempervirens, University of Florida IFAS Extension: Disinfecting Pruning Tools. They also remember how much time and effort it took to keep them in formal rigidity. READ COMPLETE ANSWER But because boxwoods are very prone to winter damage, you want to time their pruning—especially a hard pruning—carefully.