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HELP Portuguese Laurel Trees

A novice gardener in need of help following the extremely hot summer!
At the start of this year I planted some mature Portugese Laurel trees as screening (see image).
One of them has suffered terribly over this summer...... it is still alive but has a lot of dead branches/leaves.
With this in mind I would like to swap it with one of the healthy trees as it is where we need the screening most.
So.... in short do I:
Move them now (within the next couple of days - from what I have read now is the time to move evergreens)
Move them next year (march/April)
Or leave them in situ so I do not make the issue worse and kill it completely!

please share your thoughts, and any tips for the transplant.

Thanks all



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,551
    I'd leave well alone if they were mine.
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150
    edited October 2018
    The one on the left?  It still has some green leaves, so not totally dead. Why not avoid the stress of digging it up and give it a bit of TLC instead.

    Were the newly planted trees given plenty of water during the long hot summer? It may have struggled due to drought. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,078
    I agree with @Kitty 2 .... give it some tlc let it recover from the drought ... if you move them you'll set them both back.  

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

  • Thanks for the advice - I will leave them in situ.
    I gave them quite a lot of watering, but clearly not enough for the struggling one!
    It just suddenly turned.
    i don’t think it helps that they are planted in clay soil which will have retracted as it dried, and also this prevents the draining down when they are watered.
    all lessons I will take forward to next summer and hope it bounces back!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,078
    Are they planted in a lawn, or is there bare earth around their trunks?

     New trees need a circle of bare earth about 1m in diameter at the base, so that the grass doesn't compete for water and nutrients, and to allow for feeding and  mulching with organic matter which will help improve the clay soil they're planted in.  

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

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,992
    Good question, @Dovefromabove , we need a photo showing us the base of those trees. Maybe they are planted in the pavement?
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150
    Seeing signs of planting below (possibly an azalea?) suggests to me there's a proper border there, but you never know 😄.

    Did you dig anything in to improve the clay at planting time? Well rotted manure, compost etc... 
    You can still put some down as a mulch now and let the worms work it in for you 😁. Do it after the grounds had a good soaking though, apparently mulching dry soil stops water getting in.
    I learned that on the forum 😉.
  • I have just taken a photo of the base but now it is saying it is too large to upload  :| 
    But there is no grass, just a few plants nearby, and definitely no tarmac  :D

    I think the prep was one of the issues...... I just dropped them in without thinking. Two of them sit with a lot of shelter from an oak and have taken really really well!
    It is the one that has been baked to death that is looking v sorry for itself :/
    I might dig a little more compost around the top/sides 

  • I have reduced the size....... here is the base!
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,642
    I suggest that you put a good circle of manure (bagged stuff) round the base of the poorly tree (without touching the trunk) after it has been well watered as the others advised and leave it until the spring.  No need to dig it in. 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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