I have a Laurel hedge about 5 ft high and it looks very healthy and thick on the top half. However, low down from the ground up it is quite thin on leaves. It is not very old, perhaps 9 years.
What should I use or do to encourage lower growth ?
Snip it back all over but keep it narrower at the top so the bottom isn't shaded
The only way I know of is to cut it back quite hard. You will temporarily lose the height of course, but hard pruning is always followed by much stronger growth and you'll end up with a much better balanced hedge.
I agree with Bob, hard but much needed, it will romp away though afterwards.
These hedges should be cut down a bit right from planting, but not too late, you are catching it at its best time.
I would cut at least 18 inches to 2ft off it.