Wrap the tip around to the length to form a circle in the approximate... 2. With regular trimming, the shrubs will be “trained” to grow around the frame, but you need to be patient as the process takes time. The wind is its worst enemy so find a protected spot with plenty of light. As you continue to trim, you will create a slant from the top that goes halfway down to the side edges of the bush. Feb 20, 2017 - How to Make a Bush Shaped as a Ball With Trimming. Also check the shape from a distance at regular intervals, to make sure the shape is in proportion. The inner limbs need air and sunlight, so cut back along the branch just above new growth or at the plant base; avoid electric trimmers for this. Shaping topiary is a fun and inexpensive way to create year-round interest in the garden. After planting, remove branches on the bottom third of the shrub. If you are creating a round ball, bend the wire into a sphere. Then, prune the shrub branches where they are sticking out. This ensures the plant will survive. If you have decided that you’d like to give topiary a try, then you may want to have a few practice bushes. Look for one that has a more or less vertical stem that can be used as the main support for the plant. Select a reference point on the plant to work from. Topiary should be maintained with regular trimming every three months from spring until fall. They need regular pruning, feeding and watering to keep them in optimal condition. Assuming it’s a type that tolerates topiary (some do not), cut it in a general ball shape a foot or more - at least several inches - smaller than you want it to be (so it has room to grow out). You need to prune your Photinia red robin sometime between early Spring … Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Cut a piece of baling wire with wire cutters to the size plus 1/2 inch. Insert a strong stake, like a tree stake or rebar section, beside the main stem. For example, if you are making your topiary into a cone, choose a boxwood that already has a pyramid shape. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, garden shears closed image by Kathy Burns from, Texas A&M University Extension: Follow Proper Pruning Techniques, Iowa State University Extension: Boxwood: A Versatile Evergreen. Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. Then, as you prune, use the wire as a guide for shapes and dimensions. Aim to remove about one inch of growth to start. Draw the animal shape that you want to cut. For example, if you are making a cone, work outward from a central stem. Always cut at a slight angle, as this allows you to make the cuts more accurately. Trim any branches that grow beyond the level of the template with your hand shears. You can cut an existing bush into a ball shape, maintain it in size, and shape it when you make a .… Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Make the animal large sized out of the wire. Stand above the ball and hold the shears flush to the top of the ball, giving you more control and allowing you to create perfect curves. You can train climbing greenery sprigs to cover topiary frames in many shapes. All Rights Reserved. You could also trim from deep inside the plant by cutting close to the trunk and removing whole large branches. The shrub you select should already be shaped roughly in a circle to make it easier to shape. Good to Know. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." These sheers (shown right) have a crank, or angle to the blade, which enables you to cut in the correct direction using both sides of the blade, as … Get the Right Tools. It is best to let the crown grow naturally, but you can shape it into a ball if you wish. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. This will sterilize the tools. If you are pruning these bushes then you can give it a variety of shapes, like rectangle, square, globe or even tree-like. To start cutting your topiary shape, first use the long handled sheers to create the initial ‘rough cut shape’, from your chosen plant. If you are trimming a shrub into a cone, create a straight guide that you can hold against the slope of the shrub to determine that the surface of the cone is uniform. Dull blades can damage branches, creating tears that lead to … One type of shape that you can prune your bushes into is animal shapes. This type of cut is healthier for the bush. If you are trimming a shrub into a cone, create a straight guide that you can hold against the slope of the shrub to determine that the surface of the cone is uniform. Now, cut the ball once, the middle/end July – when no more second shoots are expected. Shrubs such as boxwood or juniper grow back thicker after each trimming. Bushes pruned into various ornamental shapes are known as topiaries. To prune balls, take a length of garden wire and twist it into a circular shape that can be held and moved over the plant as you prune. For complex topiary, gradually shape the plant over time by removing a little bit of the shrub during each training session. Make cuts to thicker branches angled downward, away from the base of the bush, using hand held trimmers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas. How to Make a Wire Cage for Stone Pendants, Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Cut back the young current season’s shoots (which are a paler green) when they have reached 8-10cm long. Set up 2 stakes on each side of the shrub and tie a string between them. For complex topiary, gradually shape the plant over time by removing a little bit of the shrub during each training session. When the ball reaches the desired size over time, forego the second shoot which would mean a second cut and therefore, unnecessary work. Promote Plant Health: Trees and shrubs stay healthier if you remove branches that are diseased, dead, pest-ridden or rubbing together. Though pruning topiary may seem intimidating, it can actually be quite simple. Do not start cutting away at thicker stems unless you have to. Try to keep the shape as simple as possible and choose an animal with distinctive features so it’s clearer what it is.