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Newly planted skip laurel--when to prune and fertilize

Hello Gardeners! I could sure use some expert advice! It's October here in Seattle and we just planted 5 skip laurels for a fast growing privacy hedge. Each was 5-6 feet tall and we planted about 4-5 feet apart. Each hole was only big enough for the root ball and a small layer of Miracle Grow Garden Soil at the bottom. ???? I thought it should be a bigger hole for more room for healthy garden soil, but the look on the landscaper's face told me I better ????! So can anyone reassure me that this will be fine? Also, I really didn't order Skip laurels because I wanted at least a 12 foot hedge, but maybe they'll grow to that height. Questions: When is best time to prune and fertilize? If we top them, will that not slow down the height growth? I know topping is good for width growth, but I don't want to slow down height growth. Also, any tips for care taking of these newly planted laurels would be welcome! Thanks in advance!!!

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,098

    Hi - I'm not sure what a skip laurel is. Most of the members here are UK based, with a few scattered in Europe and further afield. You may get better advice on a US based forum, but the one thing I'd say is - it can be much harder to establish mature shrubs, which is what you have.

    Here in Britain, we always advise planting a smaller specimen of any hedging plant, as they establish quicker, but as you already have them in, that's not much help! Pruning the tops down will encourage sideways growth (surprisingly quickly) but you will lose height, and at this time of year, growth is slowing, so it would be next spring before there would be any significant improvement. Bog standard (cherry) laurels will grow several feet a year over here though, once they get going.

    Don't know if that's any help to you image 

    I've just had a look and it seems skip laurel is what we call cherry laurel, so you shouldn't have a problem with the eventual height. They grow enormous over here, so hopefully you'll get a tall hedge in future!

    Last edited: 08 October 2017 07:34:43

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