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There is a tradition of snapping off brittle boxwood stems when pruning, called.

Can boxwood shrubs be cut back? Yes, you can prune hard or trim boxwood shrubs to the desired height depending on the time of year.

If the top gets wider the bottom branches will start dying from lack of sunlight to produce energy for growth.

Major pruning should be Estimated Reading Time: 7 mins. Dec 28, Severe pruning of boxwoods can have mixed results, but you may be able to safely cut the shrubs back by 2 to 3 feet depending. Apr 22, Cut back the main limbs so that they’re at a reasonable height, and work on maintaining the rounded shape of the bush. In this case, some of your branches may be leafless when you cut them back. Remember not to cut off more than one-third of the shrub each growing season%(1).