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Source of mature shrubs / trees

Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142
Hello folks,

Having moved into our new place, one of (many) jobs I would like to get on with is removing the pair of poorly maintained (Leylandi) that form an arch around the front gate. See attached picture. I will try and add another picture later from further back to give some context. Behind these firs are some tremendous ‘pine’ specimens. 

I am anticipating that the Leylandi will have impacted the growth of the trees immediately adjacent to them. Due to this and to also wanting some level of instant (I know, I know!) replacement and screening - whilst at the same time happy to open up the view of the house a little - I am looking to replace them. I am currently considering Portuguese Laurel having had those in the past and understand their habits. I’m thinking of a pair of mature trees around 2m tall. I may well put an archway or arbor centrally to ‘replace’ the arch effect. There used to be a lovely Laurel hedge running in front of the boundary but, for some reason, it was given a rather drastic haircut at some point. Hopefully that might recover over time(?).

I guess, firstly, does anyone see any big issues with this? Secondly any recommendations of online suppliers of this type of shrub in this size? Thanks. 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Firstly, the Laurels around the front probably look spindly because they were not maintained well after being planted in. Most likely lack of pruning back in the early stages. Early pruning back encourages further branching and that creates more dense growth. The other issue is the planting soil space is not well prepared and the roots are not able to expand because of heavy soil or lack of space. 

    Portuguese Laurels would be a good choice if the soil from the tall pine specimens create dryness in the surrounding area. They are also more able to adapt to shady positions.

    The 2 tree idea sounds good, and I think will look more balanced compared with a tall dark hedge in the background. Look into shrubs as 2 meters will usually be a better choice. Find out more about the type of soil so others can give further advice with trees/shrubs.
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142
    Thanks @Borderline. Here is an image of the front laurel from google street view. Judging by the fir / pine size behind it, it was some time ago but looks in fairly rude health?

    I didn't get to take a full view pic today but will do. Anyway, thanks for your positive view on my idea to replace the leylandi 'arch' (as pic above, top left of image) with the pair of Portuguese Laurels (+ potentially an arch / arbor arrangement). Do you or anyone have any recommendations for good online suppliers or can I expect to find specimens (c2M) at a garden centre / nursery?

    Thanks again. I will post up another question on laurels on another thread just for a bit of pruning advice.
  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,366
    GC and nursery usual stock large Portuguese laurels , is the inside shaded other than the conifers above ? photinia may look well . What about a Garrya james roof ? they can put some growth on and not to fussy about conditions but for a cold wind  
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Thanks for posting another photo of the Laurel hedge. From the original photo, the drop did not look so steep. This could be an issue of holding water when it rains. It was looking good at one point. The first thing that springs to mind is the last few years' lack of water, especially over the spring, summer and autumn months. I wonder whether the lack of vigour could be down to drought. Close planting of other mature shrubs and trees may also be competing with it too. 
  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,366
    They most be a fair rain shadow over the top of the laurel hedge plus the large conifer sapping the moister away whats available  
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