It seems like a lot of our work is focusing on pruning these days. As the seasons pass, we don't realize how much our shrubs and hedges have grown. This was the case with a LARGE taxus (yew) hedge located at City Hall, Grosse Pointe Park.
It is hard to tell from the first picture, but this particular hedge stood over seven feet tall and eight feet wide. The goal was to prune it down from the inside so new growth would occur from within. We could then wait two years before having to tackle it again.
In the next picture with Karen (left) and Kate (right), you get an idea just how large the hedge is. Karen is 5'9' and they had already pruned it down two feet! The last shot shows how much of the hedge was removed (over 35 large paper garden refuse bags in all), and yet you can't tell where we pruned. The hedge has a nice neat shape, surrounding plants now have room, and next year the new growth will emerge from the center.
With patience and care, it is possible to prune hard and not let it show.