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When to prune new portuguese laurel hedge on exposed site

Kate23Kate23 Posts: 6

Hi,  I have planted a portuguese laurel hedge & they are quite whippy. I thought I should prune them when I planted them in September, but the nurseryman I bought them off said to leave them until April, then he looked in a book & said no leave it until June. In the new GW magazine, it says to prune on planting & then in July - Aug! HELP! WE live 1000' up in exposed conditions in the Welsh Mountains. I can't decide whether to nip them off now whilst it is still mild or wait until spring. I previouly had a portuguese laurel shrub which had got too big, so I cut it back hard in the autumn & that very cold snowy winter followed & killed it. Any suggestions? Bearing in mind our climate, does it matter if it is left until spring as far as thickening out is concerned?


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,899

    Hello Kate. I'm not quite as high up as you but I understand your problems. 

    I think it would be best to leave them to settle in over the winter and not give them too many surprises at once. They are tough old things but they have a lot of years ahead of them so why rush? When the spring looks as if it is heading more towards summer than back to winter you will be able to give them a good prune without worrying about die back.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • catnipcatnip Posts: 73

    Hello! I live on an exposed site too and only trim my Portuguese laurels once early spring has arrived. They survive but seem healthier when pruned after any chance of frost. Their stems are shining red as I write this!

  • Kate23Kate23 Posts: 6

    Thanks both, I shall take your advice.

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