Top Gardening Shears Picks for Shrub Pruning

Top Gardening Shears Picks for Shrub Pruning

When overgrown shrubs start obscuring windows or brushing up against the house, it’s time to break out the pruning tools! But with so many snippers, shears and saws to choose from, how do we pick the right ones for neatly trimming back each type of bush? Not to worry – we’ve tested a wide range of tools to discover the best matches for different pruning tasks.

In this guide, we’ll recommend our top pruning shears choices for shrub care based on the job at hand, whether that’s broadly shaping large hedges or precisely thinning out errant small branches. Let’s explore the options!

1. Powered Shears

Gas-powered models provide the most substantial cutting force and speed to plow through huge shaping jobs. Battery-powered versions offer a lighter, more portable cordless option. Models with telescoping poles extend your reach considerably while adjustable heads pivot to just the right angle.

2. Long Shears

If the noise or hassle of motors doesn’t appeal to you, we also like using extra-long manual shears on our boxwoods and other medium shrubs. The elongated blades, up to 30” long, slice through lots of stems with each snip. Plus, the comfortable handles and lightweight design reduce hand strain.

3. Hand Pruners

When overgrown shrubs just need strategic interior branches removed to improve air flow and visibility, hand pruners get the job done with precision.

These compact snippers feature short blades perfect for reaching into dense growth to remove dead wood or misdirected stems. Cutting back right before a node or leaf encourages fuller regrowth. The speed and dexterity of hand pruners makes short work of lightly thinning neglected shrubs.

4. Loppers

Shrubs like mature lilacs and spirea can develop thick woody branches over 3⁄4” in diameter. Trying to slice through those with tiny pruners is futile! That’s why we always keep a set of steel loppers handy.

The extra-long handles on loppers allow you to apply substantial leverage pressure to guillotine through stubborn stems with ease. The sheer cutting force gets through hardy branches that would snap flimsy pruners or dull the blades. Sturdy lopper construction stands up to heavy use on tough woody growth year after year.

Match the Tool to the Task

Ultimately, only you can decide which pruners match your pruning style, strength and the unique needs of your shrubs. Overgrown hedges call for motorized or pole shears to shape them efficiently. Spindly new butterfly bushes do fine with a simple pass from hand pruners.

Hopefully these recommendations give you confidence to match the right snipper to each shrub and keep your landscaping looking fresh!