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Standard cherry laurel standard turning yellow one month after planting

We needed a large evergreen to screen a neighbours extension, so we invested in a large (3.5m) cherry laurel which was planted by the nursery last month. Five weeks in, I've noticed an increasing number of yellowing and dropping leaves. I know evergreens drop leaves to make room for new growth but this seems like a lot more yellow than I'd expect  and is increasing each few days. The planting team seemed pretty expert so I have a feeling that I am either over or under watering - as instructed by the nursery, I was watering by leaving the hose trickling onto the tree for 10 minutes, 3-4 times per week. THe ground feels pretty damp if I stick a finger in.

Does anyone have any advice for what you would do in this situation? The nursery will replace if it dies but of course I'd prefer not to get to that point. I would prefer to water with a watering can, so I know how much water I'm actually giving so if anyone would like to advise how much they would water, that would be really helpful. 

Oh, and I agree that cherry laurels are not very interesting trees but we DO have lots of other wildlife-friendly trees and plants in our garden, so we decided we could justify this purely for screening purposes! 


  • How to water or not is a difficult one.  The dryer the ground and weather the more water and vice versa.    For a new tree i'd water as you're doing for at a year and more often as the weather gets hot and dry.    Don't forget to continue as the winter begins in dry weather.

    A friend planted several of these for the same reason a few years ago, and she went through the same problem as leaves went yellow and dropped the first year.  Now they are much larger, healthy and doing their job.  The neighbour has complained that they are blocking light from their raised BBQ patio.  It was raised 3mtrs!  They then overlooked a 3mtr high boundary privet hedge into my friends garden, not any more. :)

    Looks perfectly OK to me for a largish tree that's just been removed from its pot and planted.

    Be Patient, if not sure ask someone at the nursery to pop in the next time they drive by to check it.  I know my local mature tree nursery would do this for free.  They have promised to replace it if things go wrong, keep them in the loop, get them to drop by, if it then dies you demonstrated that you care and you tried, and they were involved.  You can demonstrate that you contacted them for help when you weren't sure about the trees' health.

  • THanks for your reply, Cottage Compost - really helpful. I'm glad to hear you dont think I'm over-watering so I'll continue as usual for now and see how it goes. Its also a good idea to see if the nursery will pop in next time theyre passing, although they're pretty far away but its worth asking. 

    THis was my first post on GW, by the way - very glad of the expertise here! 
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