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How far back can I cut these bushes without killing them?

7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago

Hello, this is my first post here. I am a new homeowner and I have very little experience in gardening so please be forgiving. I have been renovating my house since I moved in a year ago and I'm just now getting to the outside.

I feel like the bushes are too large for my house. The one in the middle has a large patch of dead branches in it. I thought I had been trimming one giant bush on the left but I discovered recently it was two bushes that had merged. I tried separating them with my electric hedge trimmer but couldn't get any further than this due to the size of the branches.

So those three need to be reshaped.. and if I do that, I feel the need to just start over with all four of them. Any advice on this? I am afraid of chainsaws so I'd rather do it by hand with some kind of saw if that's reasonable. I know one should prune in the winter and it's 90 degrees every day now, but they look awful... Help please!

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