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Heavy pruning a cherry laurel

Hi all,

I can’t recall the Latin name, this is a cherry laurel that produces black cherries.  Poisonous in all parts apparently :smile:

I left it for many years unchecked, then two years ago attacked it with a chainsaw to beat it back into submission. Last year I let it recover.  Now I need to make it manageable, and a reasonable shape.

Its too tall, I have to climb on the wall to reach the back and the top and it’s a struggle.  The branches are practically interwoven, many are rubbing.

How should I approach pruning it?  My thoughts are to start at the bottom, taking out all the minor branches. Then as I move up, remove anything crossing over...and eventually make the whole thing roughly ball shaped.


  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,620
    I'd get the chainsaw out again followed by a stump grinder. Seriously though do you really want it in your garden? Does it make you happy? If not then replace it with something you do want.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,145
    You can saw those off to an inch from the ground, it will grow from all the way round the base and make a bushy shrub. But if you don’t want it you’ll have to pick axe it all out because it will grow again if you leave the stump in. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    I’ve no plans to get rid of it, just shape it.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,320
    IMHO it's too vigorous a plant to keep trimmed as a lollipop, unless you want to be at it several times a year with secateurs.
    You don't want to lose it, so I'm suggesting, secateurs is the way to go.
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    Hmm, ok.  I thought maybe there were some basic rules of tree surgery to learn first.

    I suppose it is about four hours work.  Then there’s the disposal activity, which is a real pain.  So probably a full weekend all told.  I’ll think it over again.
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    The results (so far):

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,145
    If you’re please with it then that’s  ok. By this summer all those cut joint will shoot out. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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