This is how I found out about the hedge cutting method:
Many years ago I got several batches of trees, one very similar maples,
the other elms, and then some cherries. I picked the best ones of the
batch and declared them part of my collection. I planted them into good
pots and cared for them for many years according to what I had learned
is the 'right' way.
The other ones were for sale. I thought highly of their quality and put
price tags on them which were probably too high. They did not sell for a
number of years.
One day in November when the leaves were off I finally had a close look
at the sale plants and found something amazing. They were much better
developed than the ones in my collection. Their trunks were about twice
as thick, the nebari was a lot better. The ramification was much
better. The only thing that bothered me was that there were way too many
branches looking untidy. So I took one after the other and edited the
crown. I had the greatest problem: there were so many branches and buds
that it was hard to choose. Anyway, in the end my sales trees were MUCH
better then the ones in my collection.
What had happened? Well, Every spring I started working on my trees,
first with the best ones, of course. After a few weeks I had done abut
200 trees. I never came to the sales lot for lack of time. So I let
these grow freely for a few weeks. When they were so big that they dried
out very quickly for having too much foliage I took a large hedge
pruner and cut them back ruthlessly. Two to three months later I did the
same thing. And then in late fall when there was not the danger of the
trees throwing shoots anymore. In between I used my aggressive watering
and feeding regime, feeding MUCH more than most people would.
And then I decided to do this with all trees on a regular basis. From
then on the quality of my collection suddenly rose significantly and
continues to do so.