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Laurel struggling

Hello I hope someone could give me some guidance I’m a complete gardening novice. We planted a row of Laurel in spring, we treated them all the same but one has really struggled and another too but to a lesser degree. 


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,179
    Cherry laurel wouldn't be my choice for pleaching, because of the size and spread they want to be, but it looks like the  failing one has gone short of water through summer, or in the immediate weeks/months after planting.
    They need huge amounts of water, even as small shrubs, never mind as large pleached trees. The most common reason for poor growth is drought. They also need a reasonably decent soil to be planted into.
    It's perfectly normal for them to drop foliage -all evergreens do that, but it gets replaced as long as the conditions are right. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,569
    I agree with @Fairygirl about the lack of regular water.  Evergreens don't show you that they're thirsty in the same way other plants do - they don't wilt or look unhappy until it's pretty well too late to do anything about it...

    From your photos it looks as if they may have been fastened to the supporting structure with ties which are too tight, and don't allow for expansion - the light green tie in the first picture is a case in point.  I'd check all the ties, and replace any which are going to bite into the bark or constrict the stem.  You can use pieces of old tights (which are stretchy) instead, rather than going to the expense of buying proper tree ties.  Whatever you use needs to be checked regularly though.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • Cambridgerose12Cambridgerose12 Posts: 1,036
    edited December 2021
    Garden centres love to sell showy specimens at high prices, but they neglect to inform you that the plant will then need years of special attention to cope, because it doesn't have a large enough root system to sustain it in open ground. It looks too as if the suffering plant is in a more difficult situation than the rest, and perhaps is in the rain shadow of both the fence and the building. This will mean that for it to start thriving, you'll need to be giving it lots of water through the year, in summer probably on a daily basis, for at least two years. If you are lucky, there will not be too much dieback and the plant has just lost its leaves to conserve water.

    It also looks hungry to me, so when watering, you could try giving it some seaweed mix or other fertiliser through the growing months (March to October), and a mulch around the base will help conserve water too.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,415
    I imagine there may be landscaping fabric under the stone chippings. Some/most of those fabrics do seem to impede water to some degree. 
    Is that a drip hose I see laid out along the bed?   How many hours a day would that have been running throughout the summer and autumn?  I reckon it would have to be on for several hours a day to get those large trees established, even in a relatively damp season. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thank you so much for your knowledge and experience. I think all signs point to lack of water. I’ll try the fertiliser and I’ll also answer all the specific questions shortly 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,179
    Don't feed it just now though. It's not a good idea to feed any plant that's struggling.
    Wait and see if it recovers over winter and into spring first   :)

    I agree with @Liriodendron too, re the ties. You have to keep an eye on them as they can restrict the growth. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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