Hedges often turn brown in the middle without proper care. Luckily, maintenance is relatively easy. If you prune your hedge into a formal shape, clip the top of the hedge narrower than the bottom so light can reach the lower branches. Instead of shearing hedges flat, stagger your cuts. Prune some branches deeper inside the plant and others closer to the edges. This allows more light to reach the middle of the plant, keeping it from dying out. In areas with heavy snowfall, prune formal hedges to have rounded tops. This will help protect them from heavy snow accumulation, which can break branches.