Help needed please with laurel hedge issues...



  • Hi, hope you don’t mind me adding to this thread. I’m no gardener but I love our laurel hedge which is planted at the front of our house on a main road. It’s been there longer than us so I reckon it’s almost 20 years old. We have never watered nor fed it and it’s usually fine with a trim every year or so - very healthy and a good screen between us and the road. 

    However last year it developed what I think is powdery mildew. I looked online and advice suggested it would recover by itself. My partner pruned it back later last year (autumn I think?) - just the top and the road-facing side (south facing).

    Now the un-pruned bits of hedge look healthy but the pruned bits look awful and although there are new shoots growth is definitely stunted.

    Do you think I should:

    Prune it? All of it or just diseased bits?

    Feed it? With what?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  • Hi everyone, I was hoping to be back with a happy report for you but I've had a setback!
    About 2 weeks ago Jack frost came and killed all the new growth 😔 it was doing so well! In hindsight I should have waited until May to cut back when any chance of frost had passed.
    Have you any advice on what I could do to help them now? The stems of the new growth that has died are quite rubbery and doesn't break off easily should I try cut out all the dead leaves or leave it to recover itself? Thanks for any advice a disheartened learner.. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 57,609
    I would leave them ... it’s a bit disheartening at the moment but they’ll recover ... they’ve just been cut back a bit harder than you intended. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks dove, I will leave them be and see how they fair out. Talk soon! 
  • Hi all, brilliant thread. I’ve read it all with interest. I had 10 8ft laurels planted in February/March. Most of them are doing well but 2 of them look totally dead, and their leaves are completely shrivelled but as advised in previous threads, I’ve scratched the bark and it’s green below. I’ve fed, watered and talked to them but my question is ‘will they grow back on the current wood?’  I understand most people state cut right down, but I’m not after a hedge, just height to obliterate windows from neighbours windows. 
  • This has no leaves whatsoever now. 
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,013
    I wish you had read the thread before you bought them. 
    They cannot possible become well established whist they are feeding all that top growth. The only thing is to buy some  3’ plants for the gaps, in November, then cut the tops off by a few inches. By next summer they will be growing up well. 
    They are too close to the fence, they grow into huge plants with very large trunks. In a couple of years they will have that fence down. Sorry to be blunt, but that’s the nature of Laurels. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • lockegaillockegail Posts: 4
    Hi all. Great thread. I am hoping for advice and suspect I know the answer. Do I need to cut these right back? I planted them in the autumn and the advice I got with them was to not prune for a year but now I think that is wrong. Thanks in advance. 
  • lockegaillockegail Posts: 4

  • SandygardenSandygarden Posts: 97
    I have the remnants of a laurel hedge that I can’t get rid of. Once established, they are so vigorous even chopping back to the ground and attempting to kill the stumps failed to stop them growing back. Now I shape them into big balls. The more you prune the faster and thicker they grow. The second pic shows all the new growth from a brutal hack back this winter.
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