I have a large mature Bay and am trying to get it in order. I have removed the bottom branches and want to make a more formal shape.
I was thinking or just pruning it in tight and letting it bush out. I wanted a sort or large ball.
Mine has proved amenable to a hard haircut now and again. It was a very tall multi-stemmed blob. I cut it back several feet to make a ground-level ball about 7 foot high.
It looks good from 3 sides but the side away from the light looks a bit gappy. It doesn't look very good from the top yet, I can see it from the landing window, but it greened up OK last time I did it.
I did it a couple of months ago, probably a bit too early for the bay but I was concerned for the birds. The weather was kind though and it's just about in flower now