This was a post of mine last year
Hope it works, the next pics are ones I pruned yesterday, did the same with them last year and the last pic shows them just before yesterdays pruning so you see how they will grow if you would only cut them down.
None of them have ever been fed only on planting, they grow in any soil in any situation, if you would just be bold, you could have a lovely hedge there.
I used to be reluctant to cut back. I had 2 laurels by the road years ago. The electricity board did some tree pruning and dropped a branch on one, effectively cutting it back. After I'd tidied it up it shot away, overtaking the other one in a season.
I've been posting replies to this thread for the last couple of weeks and just today realised they've not been appearing. It seems my email address was falling foul of the spam filter and should now be sorted.
I cut the trees back about 3 weeks ago to 2-3 ft as per pics and gave them a healthy dose of blood fish and bone. They have started to replace the leaves that had fallen which is good but obviously haven't grown back any yet.
Jane22 - I bought them online (Ebay) after speaking to the garden centre. They quoted 10 trees at 1.2m apart, but couldn't tell me how bushy they were as they had to order them in. This seemed like a risk. The guy on Ebay was very convincing about his plants and I bought 20 at £35 each (less than half the garden centre). Obviously these were spaced twice as close together, which (possibly naively) I thought was better.
I've no doubt that cutting them back is the right thing long term, but I'm really disappointed in these now. My neighbour has stuck a load of 9ft conifers into his garden which are sat nice and thick, 3ft above his fence giving him total screening. I've attached another pic of this to show the effect I'm after.
... So having sat staring at the plants all weekend I've come to the conclusion that I need to do something. Debating 10 of these at £200 each:
I'd have a use for about 10 of the original plants elsewhere so all would not be lost.
Obviously it's a big investment but I really want this privacy, so any comments or advice gratefully appreciated (bearing in mind I'm obviously not the patient type).
I suppose the first question is how long realistically until my specimens are anything like this pic? Would rootballed ones be OK to plant now? Would I be better going for conifers rather than Laurel for any reason as per neighbour?
Many thanks againDave
Hi Dave. I've just read this thread and I can understand how you're feeling a bit fed up. I blame those who sell laurels at that height to start with as they always need a good prune on planting, need more monitoring re water and food, and will take much longer to establish. Smaller plants (2 to 3 feet) establish better and grow quicker - catching up and overtaking bigger ones. I'm also quite horrified at what you've paid for them
You've done the right thing by following the advice everyone has given about cutting back etc. and by the end of summer they will be doing well - and next year they will have turned into a good hedge. If you apply a mulch round the base that will help keep them weed free which is an advantage. Your neighbour's conifers won't have been cheap either and he may yet encounter a few problems with them establishing. Anything big has to be watched closely for quite a while.
Don't lose heart.
Thanks Fairygirl. It seems expensive for what I've been left with now, but it was in line with other 6-7ft plants at the time. The sellers point (which I guess is true) is that even when pruned, I was paying for the established plant, the thick stem, which would regrow quicker than the thinner ones also on Ebay. A lot of them do look a lot thinner and weedier than what I received, and to be fair mine looked better before the leaves all fell off!
My neighbours conifers have actually been in well over a year and appear to be taking quite well from what I can see, and they don't have anything like the soil depth I do. I've no doubt they were expensive though.
If I thought mine would look like the above and be 8ft in 2, maybe even 3 years time I might be persuaded to leave them in and nurture them... but anything more than that and I think it's worth my while paying to go big.
Would you not even care to hazard a guess on how long I'm looking at?
Sorry to be a pain but I have tried for ages to get an idea of this from Google etc to no joy...
Can anyone be kind enough give me a rough estimation (in years) to get my specimens from A to B, assuming they are well fed and watered and in good soil... so I can form a plan as to what to do... then I promise I'll go away and leave you alone
B are being sold for £200 each at an online Nursery...
Sorry for taking so long to reply Dave. I'd expect a laurel planted at around 3 feet to be about 6 to 8 feet within a couple of years or so, assuming the conditions and site are suitably prepared. Once established, they grow very rapidly.
Thanks. And literally as big, thick, bushy and square as that pic above... in other words they'd be a proper square top hedge above my fence within 3 yrs? Seems hard to imagine looking at them now to be honest. But if that's what you're saying is likely then I guess I'll leave them...
Have faith Dave