How to Trim Bushes Round – Everything You Need to Know

Go into any yard and you will see bushes and hedges that have been trimmed into the shape of a ball. Not only do ball-shaped bushes look nice, they also enhance the overall appearance of your finely – manicured hedges and shrubs.

Furthermore, many homeowners like to trim their bushes round so that they will be easier to maintain. At first glance, this seems like a major undertaking. But with the right tools (and some time and patience) you too can have beautifully – trimmed round bushes.

An increasing number of people are choosing to trim their hedges and bushes not only into round balls, but various shapes. This art is called topiary.

Tools you will need

You’re probably wondering what tools you’ll need to do this job. Bypass runners, lopping shears, pruning shears as well as power hedge shears are all necessary tools. I will explain more about their role throughout this article.

Where to begin?

Before you even begin to consider the exact shape of the bush or hedge you’re going to trim, it is essential to get rid of any dead limbs. Your best bet is to use lopping or pruning shears to get this job done. Find a spot where a branch has green vegetation and cut close to a leaf or stem. Do this for each dead limb. If an entire branch is dead, start at the main trunk and cut the branch.

Keep in mind that you will encounter not only broken and dead limbs, but there’s also the possibility of diseased growth inside of a bush. One of the first steps in creating a perfectly trimmed round bush is to remove most of the oldest and tallest branches at their bases.

By thinning a bush, you allow more air and sunlight to reach the interior. This in turn keeps the bush healthy and blooming.

The top of a ball-shaped bush needs to be domed in appearance. Once you’ve shaped out a dome at the top, work down the sides to the bottom where they come together at a main stem. For getting the bush in the precisely rounded shape you desire, I suggest using either handheld pruning shears. But, if you want to get the job done faster, power hedge shears are a great option. Either tool will allow you to form the round shape you want as the end result.

What will your trimmed bush look like?

Have you considered the height and width of what your round bush will be once all the cutting has been done? In order to establish height, trim the stems at the top. Always cut at a slight angle, as this allows you to make the cuts more accurately.

Begin snipping branches from the top of the bush and work on done. In order to get the desired shape, you want to create a slope in the bush. As you continue to trim, you will create a slant from the top that goes halfway down to the side edges of the bush.

With tool in hand, you will next make small cuts along both sides. This is to make all branches even so that none are sticking out. Your objective here is to make sure the sides are smooth. The sides need to be trimmed inward – but not too much. Again, work upwards toward the top of the shrub. You should be able to meet the slope that you originally made when you were working downward.

Here’s a tip if you’re trimming evergreen shrubs or bushes: check the extent of green growth into the plant before you start your project. It isn’t uncommon for evergreens to develop thick surfaces but die in the center.

Furthermore, I recommend trimming your bush in the early summer after new growth has been hardened off and before the weather becomes too hot.

Some more tips for trimming bushes perfectly round

Use a cloth measuring tape on a flat surface to determine the exact length and width of what you eventually want your bush to look like.

Do you have baling wire? Baling wire is perfect for holding the bush in place while you trim it into a ball. To begin, cut a piece of baling wire with wire cutters. Tie the two loose ends of wire together into a circle.

In addition to using the baling wire to hold the bush together, you can also make a circle known as a topiary frame to place on top where you will be cutting out the dome. Use a measuring tape to measure each side of the circle so that your dimensions are spot-on.

You can also make legs out of the baling wire that are used to hold up the sides of the bush. Simply press the legs into the ground.

You should also be taking good care of your tools. Pour one – part bleach and three parts of water into a bucket. Once you’ve mixed the contents well, soak the blades of your lopping and pruning shears for five to ten minutes in order to disinfect them. Afterward, dry them with a towel.

Regarding the baling wire, it can be used as a guide template, or topiary frame as mentioned above so that you will be able to cut and trim the entire bush accurately. You can rotate the wire 45 degrees or more to trim in a specific area. Continue using the wire until you’re finished.


If you really want to enhance the look of your yard and complement the landscape, shaping some of them into balls (or other shapes) is a good thing to do. Trimming a bush or hedge into a ball helps to improve its natural state.

Always remember to leave your shaped bush wider at the bottom so that they will last longer.

As stated above, topiary is becoming a popular pastime among homeowners who wish to give their landscaped yards a unique personality. Not only do well – manicured shaped bushes look visually appealing, they could also enhance the market value of your property if someday you decide to sell.

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!

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