In the movie Edward Scissorhands, we see a created being with scissors for hands who creates artistic landscapes and imaginative trees and shrubs. Although the movie is fictional, tree trimming like Edward's is very real. It is a skill which has long since been used in royal gardens and one which you can incorporate into your own yard. 

Start Small

The first thing you want to do is master basic shapes which emphasize your trees' and shrubs' natural beauty. Cones, cubes and spheres are a good start. Cubes are the easiest because you can cut straight across the top of a shrub to form the flat top of the cube. From there, it is easy to see where you need to cut next to get even, squared corners and straight edges. Boxy yew trees and evergreen shrubs work best for cubes, while slender-growing evergreens work well for cones. Spheres are an advanced skill, one which will require a lot of practice as you learn to trim from underneath up to the middle of the shrub or tree.

Use the Correct Tools

Although Edward Scissorhands used large shears to make his landscape creations, you do not want to use scissors or shears at all. These can, in fact, damage the small branches and twigs, causing death to parts of the tree or shrub. An electric hedge trimmer can help create the square, flat edges you want while manual hedge shears and loppers can smooth your greenery into softer, rounder forms. A pruning saw can also help trim back branch extensions and provide more sunlight to the root system below.

Trim Back Some, but Not All, of the Crown

Edward's creations all had some portion of the crown of the bush or tree trimmed back. This is an important feature to note because trimming back the crown exposes the top of the tree to sun and helps deter disease and parasitic problems. If you are carefully crafting a unique tree or shrub piece in your yard, remember to trim some, but not all, of the crown to keep your trees healthy. (Shrubs you shape into cubes will be fine with this since they grow back so quickly.)

Finally, Give Your Greenery a Leg to Stand On

In one emotional scene of the movie, Edward runs down the street, hacking at his creations and cutting them down from their natural supports.What this scene shows you is that artful tree trimming can only work if the tree or shrub has a strong base. Whatever you do, do not cut at the base of your trees and shrubs. Your own garden creations need a leg to stand on, and the main trunk is all they have. Keep your cuttings and tree trimmings at least a foot or more above the base and roots of your trees and shrubs. If you are concerned that you have messed things up, a professional tree service can always help you get back on track.