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Fence against a large laurel hedge?

I am redesigning a corner of my garden  but one side of 5m (my neighbour's) has 3m high, 1m thick laurel hedging. A friend has suggested I trim the laurel on our side right back to our boundary (even if it's bare wood) and fence on my side. I like this idea as the laurel is a thug which needs too much trimming plus my design is for a jungle style garden which won't suit the laurels.
Would this established laurel hedge end up pushing the fence down/growing through it?


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,811
    Hi @lauraferris1 -    If the fence is properly constructed, and from good quality timber, it should be fine.  :)
    It will certainly grow through it though, so you'd need to make it solid. If it's that height, it'll also grow over the top, and you can't have a fence at 3 metres, so you'll need to factor that in. If you have the fence inside the  official boundary, I expect that would be different. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783

    Would this established laurel hedge end up pushing the fence down/growing through it?
    It will grow through it if it has gaps, but you just trim it once maybe twice a year at most.  I have a picket fence against mine and it’s fine.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    If you cut it back to the bare trunks it will grow faster than lightening.
    It could push your fence over in a few years time they are very strong trees,  not something I would ever think of doing. 
    I think this is something you may have to go with,  by all means cut it back and then enjoy the new green growth even though it’s not the look you want. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Hi - I agree laurel is a thug! If you cut it back and have a close board fence, maybe with concrete posts, then this will robust, and will block the light, hopefully minimising growth on that side of the laurel. It will continue to grow upward though.

    Another thing to consider - if you want to grow things on your side, close to the fence, they will be in competition for water and nutrients with the laurel...
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,469
    Hi, I inherited the same situation when I moved into my present house.  The previous owner had taken the same steps suggested by @Pianoplayer and it has worked successfully for the eight years that I have been here.  Although it means trimming the side of the laurel hedge above the fence facing my garden once a year, I like the dense green screen it provides, obliterating all signs of neighbours!  The lack of light to the lower trunks does seem to discourage any strong lower growth and I now have a well established mixed evergreen border very close to the fence on my side to camouflage the fence.
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • Thanks everyone for your excellent advice. I'm going to ask our neighbours if they have a desire to keep the laurel and if they'd like us to replace it with a fence (assume I'd need to grind it out - the trunks are 25cm thick in places!!) If they want to keep the beast, then I'll reassess from there. 
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