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Large scale Laurel cuttings and propagation

My wife and I have just bought a home with 46 acres of land which has a public footpath running along about 500 metres of its boundary. We want to plant a Laurel hedge for security and privacy. For both financial and satisfaction reasons we would like to do this work ourselves. We are retired so have the time and are used to hard physical work ! There is already 100 metres of established Laurel hedging on the property ( I think Cherry) so we plan to take cuttings from these. I believe we would need to plant about 5 cuttings per metre ? This would mean taking approximately 2500 cuttings.  We are not under estimating the scale of this project, our main concern is that after all the work and expense, we ensure the viability of the cuttings. We do have experience of large scale tree planting on another place we had but are not experienced horticulturists and have never taken a cutting in our lives ! We have the use of a digger for the eventual planting out. We are thinking it may be an idea to build a poly growing tunnel, placing the individual pots on a gravel base and putting in a drip system, perhaps two drippers per pot to bring the cuttings on for the 1st 12 months until we plant them out. Or would the cuttings do better stood in the open ? There are Muntjac deer, rabbits, badgers etc on the property but from what I understand these shouldn’t be a problem with laurel ?


We have a lot more detailed questions to ask but as an opener are we going in the right direction?

Thanks, Nick and Sue


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,008

    Sounds like a plan but a great deal of work and quite slow and do your really want a 500 metre long stretch of dark green?   

    It might be cheaper just to buy single whip hedging plants than invest in polytunnels and drip systems unless you need them for raising more plants later on.

    Either way, I would be inclined to mix it up with some hawthorn - very cheap to buy as single whips and will also provide blossom, nectar, berries and shelter for birds and insects as well as thorns to deter unwanted visitors.

    Have a look here - and here - 

    General hedge planting info on here - and from the RHS here -

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I agree with Obelixx ... a hedge of mixed natives will look more attractive,, take less maintenance and be better for wildlife and if chosen well will provide more security too.  

    Cuttings of laurel seems like a 'hard row to hoe' ... your calculations don't seem to have a large enough built in failure rate ... if you go ahead with it I'd work on double your figure.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 4,210

    Agree with Obelixx and Dove. A 500 m. long hedge made entirely of laurel would be a terrible eyesore. Please consider more reasonable alternatives as per the links provided by O. and D.

    Papi Jo, a member of the anti-laurel brigade. image

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,416

    Laurel is an overbearing and overboring

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    I like Laurel for a very quick growing screening hedge but not on a scale such as this! It doesn’t suit the countryside, I’ve never seen fields and fields of Laurel.  Will look very much out of place.

    Buying plants will be cheaper if you're thinking of polytunnels, for 3000 plants, think how big that would have to be to accommodate plants in 8” or so pots. 

    I’ve bought plants from here,

    very good, and for £600.00 you can buy the lot.  30 to 40p per plant is good. It will cost more than that to buy and have a poly tunnel built. Costs of compost, flower pots, feed etc. You won’t need 5 per metre if you use these. 3 will be plenty.

    Last edited: 31 December 2017 12:39:00

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thank you to everyone for your advice which we readily take on board !  We will put some thought to all the very helpful points, reconsider our plan and reply in full in the New year. A very happy New year to you all,

    Best wishes, Nick


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