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Tools to tackle an overgrown laurel hedge

The hedge only got a light trim (by hand) last year and has gone mad this year. There is now a lot of work to do including some pretty thick branches. I no longer have the time to cut it all by hand and need to be a bit more drastic.

Can anyone recommend something powered to tackle this? Ordinary hedge trimmers aren't really up to laurel. I'd quite like to get something cordless. Would petrol or electric be better? Need to do something asap as the hedge is under threat of being replaced by a fence!


  • DaintinessDaintiness EssexPosts: 980

    I would recommend electric hedge trimmers and maybe some loppers/secatuers. Do a bit at a time but it will always look better than a fence!

  • We've just been given a lopper by my Aunty, it's a big extending pole which extends far enough to reach the ivy growing a the very apex of our gable end, (I'm only 5 1/2 ft and no step ladder required!). there's a fairly hefty saw on the end, and also like a hook thing which you put over the top of the thinner branches then pull the rope and it shoots a blade up to chop off the branch...... It's the best toy she's give me since I got Buckaroo for my 8th birthday!

    Needless to say I'm gradually working my way around the garden, we too have lots of laurel that need hacking back, just a couple of well chosen branches taken out make all the difference... although the much beloved isn't quite so impressed with all the trips to the tip! image

  • If the hedge has only got one year's growth to get rid of, then a petrol or good electric hedgecutter will make short work of it, but as Daintiness implies, if the branches are thick (over 3/4 inch) then you may need to get the loppers out.

  • Be careful with Laurel in the wet. The cut leaves give off cyanide gas which is lethal. I have seen the fatal results in a horse so make sure there are two of you and the material is dry.

  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,593

    You would need to eat the leaves to suffer cyanide poisoning, that's how it kills horses. It is safe to prune laurel, wet or dry.

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