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Help needed please with laurel hedge issues...

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  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,114
    You can cut them lower as Lyn suggests, that will help them bush out and hopefully knit your individual shrubs together, creating a hedge more instantly. I think cutting down once a year is enough.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,389
    I know lots of people like to feed them, but I never have. I’ve got some growing on top of a dry stone bank, hardly any soil and lovely big plants.
    this was their first year.


    this was in the winter, all chewed and hacked about, we had to cut it with the hedge cutter but they’re now shooting out again and covered in fresh bright new growth. 
    Yours will be fine, just give them time, I think by the end of this summer you’ll see a big difference.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Oh wow what an inprovement lyn, I think the main worry with me was that they keep going yellow and losing all there leafs, but they did flower begin of the year and do have new shoots starting,, I will definitely remove all the grass and cut more off  
  • Update since I cut my laurels in half toward the end of April. In summary, limited bulk in the first 4 weeks but lots of small green shoots (multiple below the cuts as advised by Befuddled). Lots of progress in the next 3.5 weeks. Pics below from right hand side of the garden, growth on the left side is less impressive. The left side gets less water so I've started giving this side extra water to see if that helps. Really pleased I cut them back, feels like I'm on the way to getting a hedge now. Thanks all.

    24 April 2018


    22 May 2018 - circa 4 weeks


    3 June 2018 - circa 6 weeks


    13 June 2018 - circa 7.5 weeks

  • befuddledbefuddled Posts: 34
    edited June 2018

    Hedgingmybets... looking great. They look like mine did before the first cut, and after. Hard to believe but all that new light green growth is what will form your hedge. The old shoots are useless now. All they'll do is drop yellow leaves in the years to come. Keep pruning... every stem, every April.

  • befuddledbefuddled Posts: 34
    edited June 2018

    Annual update as promised. Mine have just hit 3yrs since the initial cut. Around 9ft now and still in growing season (ground level is 1ft below the wooden loglap panelling). That's around 2ft per year by my reckoning. Now giving me the screening I wanted. 3yr old pic included for reference for anyone finding this thread.


    Loving it!


  • KjhbrooksKjhbrooks Posts: 2
    I've been reading all your posts on your laurels since February and would like to share my experience of my laurel hedge.  I planted it in February this year (2018), 5 plants were bare root (just plant & roots, no soil), 10 were root balled (plants with root & soil in hessian), they were all 5ft.  I wanted them as a quick growing screen and wanted height as well.  Unfortunately The Beast from the East came along 2 weeks later and I feared for them, worrying the severe frost would get to their roots.  They seemed OK, but the leaves started to wilt and go yellow and then drop off resulting in just stems with an odd leaf left.  I was really worried about them, and this is when I started following your posts.  Like was said, I cut only about 4 inches off the tops of the main stems, I didn't want to cut them back any further as I wanted the height.  My thinking was they would channel their energy to help them branch out and still keep their height.  Well, I watched, waited, kept them well watered, spoke to them regularly encouraging them to grow, and in May, they suddenly burst into life.  They started to grow new shoots where all the leaves had gone yellow and dropped off.  They've shot up by about 4 inches, so have regrown what I cut off.  I'm absolutely amazed with the transformation.  There is another one doing exactly the same thing now, it has dropped a lot of leaves which turned yellow, and have gone spindly, but I now know it is getting ready to sprout new growth.  I did read somewhere that they drop the leaves to save moisture and channel it to new growth, so I believe that is what they are doing.  My advice, after reading your posts is to not panic, keep them well watered, cut off a reasonable amount to encourage new growth and wait.  A professional gardener said to me there as tough as old boots, you'll be struggling to keep them under control in a few years! He also said if you want to check there still alive, use your nail and scrape the woody bit of a lower branch, if it's green where you scrape it, it's alive.  Thank you for an abundance of brilliant advice.  The first picture shows when I first planted the hedge in Feb.  The second shows the leaves wilting, going yellow & some of the stems bare.  The last two show new growth at the bottom and tops all green and fresh x

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,389
    Beautiful Befuddled.  So pleased you took advise and even more pleased that you’ve come back to show your results.
    @Kjhbrooks yours will look good when you’ve cut about a foot off the tops, all the tall wispy bits
    @hedgingmybets , they will be up to the top of your pillars by the end of summer, if not more keep just pinching out the tips of the new shoots.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • KjhbrooksKjhbrooks Posts: 2
    Thank you Lyn.  I am going to cut off a bit more soon.  I do keep going out with my secateurs and chopping here & there 😂
  • Omg they are amazing what a lovely green hedge, iam hoping mine will one day be like that ! So I have a question can I cut anymore off or leave them now till April? I have got new growth from the cut i did end of May but a couple of them are still like sticks with no new shoots at the bottom Also how often should I giving blood fish and bone? Thanks for any help given  
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