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Can I bury some of my English Laurel?

I have a nice mature english laurel hedge at the back of my yard.  My yard slopes down to the hedge, and just behind the hedge is a retaining wall on my neighbor's property.

I'd like to level my yard, but retain the laurel.  One solution is to build an additional retaining wall before the laurel hedge, keeping the current yard level for the hedge.  That's the current plan.

Would it also be ok to build the retaining wall on the other side of the laurels, and bury them?  I'd probably bury the first two feet of the hedge.  I've noticed that if low branches grow too close to the soil, they start to form roots.  I'm assuming if I buried the first two feet of the bush the same would happen.  The hedge is mature - it has been thriving for at least 10 years, maybe 15.

Would this work, or am I crazy?

Thanks in advance.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,298
    I think you’d lose your laurels ... raising the soil level around trees and shrubs usually rots the trunks. I know what you mean about branches layering themselves, but the roots form at nodes on the branches ... don’t think there are the right sort of nodes on the trunks. 

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

  • Interesting - what if I did something like an air layering to get it started?  I may try covering one section of bush and see if roots start to grow.  If they do, would I likely be in the clear?
  • SheleenSheleen Southampton, in a gardenPosts: 51
    edited June 2019
    Would it be impossible to dig around it - the roots go down usually about 60cm - the main fibrous roots in the top 30cm? You could then carefully back fill under the roots to raise it. Best time for moving trees is usually autumn though I think. It would be such a shame to risk losing such a gorgeous specimen.
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