Bay tree

A few months ago I bought myself a small bay tree. It was a bit sickly, but I managed to revive it and it seems to be growing rather well. However I have a small problem now. Very quickly after bringing it home, a small branch (?) started growing on the side(just below the surface of the soil ). How should I cut it off safely to transfer it to start a new plant? I'm not experienced in gardening at all (more enthusiastic novice than anything...), therefore I'd be very grateful for any ANY tips whatsoever... 


  • You would be far better leaving it - it will simply be a new shoot which will grow and help form your tree. At least you know that after it's sickly start, it has begun to enjoy life and is starting to get a foothold. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,118

    Hi Marta 

    Or you could pull it off the roots, and treat it like a heel cutting as shown here 

    I did that several years ago and now I have a lovely lollipop bay tree.  image


    Last edited: 21 November 2017 16:06:01

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thank you so much!!! I think I'll have to pull it off, it's getting quite tall now...

  • Thank you, sir. Mine is also a lollipop tree, however the shoot started growing on the side, just by the roots. I'm afraid I've waited too long, now I have a problem... the bottom of it is quite hard already. I tried to look for some videos on how to cut it off properly, but to be honest I'm still in the dark... I worry that if I cut it and cover the cut with soil, it might catch some disease?

  • Marta -  if you purchased your bay as a Lollipop, then yes you should remove all the suckers from the base.  It is usually easy to do if you catch them straight away - just pull down. You can still remove the shoot but be aware that more may appear.  Catch them early and it is much easier.

    The thing to be aware of is that the Lollipop shape is not natural - as Mike points out it is a shrub and will endeavour to grow as such. 

    It matters not which shape you grow for culinary purposes - the leaves can be harvested just the same.  The Lollipop, Pyramid or whatever shape you desire has absolutely no effect on the leaves.  If you have a good specimen, it lends itself to Topiary if you wish to avoid a huge specimen.

  • I'll make sure I get rid of all the new shoots as soon as I notice them.

    It is mainly for culinary purpose, so I suppose I could use it as a experimental tree as well, as I have never pruned any tree/shrub before... we'll see how it gets.

    Thank you for all the answers, they're very helpful!

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