If it is any consolation I have spent the last 20 years in sporadic warfare against laurel in my garden. It seeds freely and runner roots from a hedge are always trying to colonise. I turn my back on small shoots for a couple of years then I have to take down 8 foot plants. Neighbours have laurel hedges which are 10 feet high and 10 feet wide and it is rather amusing watching them trying to prune with shears. A hard weekend will see them take off 6 inches which will regrow 2 feet in a season.
When you do get your 8 foot hedge be prepared for the hard work or cost of keeping it in check. Nothing gets to 8 feet quickly then stops!
Well, 2 months after the aggressive trim and growth has indeed followed the knife. The plants look nice and healthy again, regenerated all the leaves. They haven't grown upwards any mind!
Hurrah! Now you believe us don't you
And they will start growing upwards - look at all those lovely healthy new shoots - and this time when they grow upwards it'll be thick and bushy, not lanky and spindly.
We're turning you into a gardener
You still need to cut them down a bit though, those tall straggly bits are not much good are they. Nip out about six inches off those long bits and you will be on the way to a decent hedge.
I know it's early days, I'll be interested to see them in 1yr. But spring is supposed to be boom time isn't it? They've not grown higher at all. They've sprouted lots of new leaves and gone a nice light green but the stalks I cut are exactly the same. I'm not seeing anything so far that backs up the regular claims of 2-3ft per annum! Maybe need time to settle in I guess.
They live in constant fear of being rudely evicted in favour of a line of 10ft Olive Trees! Keeps them on their toes!
It's all going on underground at the moment
When is the best time to prune a Laurel hedge and can you use the prunings for cuttings, thanks
befuddled - unfortunately plants of any kind have to be given a chance to do what they do . A cold spring this year has also slowed growth of lots of shrubs/perennials/trees in many areas. Pruning promotes growth but growth doesn't happen overnight and there are loads of factors which dictate just how quickly it happens. Anything which grows three or four feet in a matter of weeks will be a huge problem in due course.
If you don't want to wait the alternative is really a 10 foot fence or wall.
AWB - you can prune them anytime really. They're tough as old boots. I've never grown cuttings of them but I'm sure someone will know. I'd expect they're pretty straightforward.
Once they start growing they grow very well. I have a 50' length spaced at 2'6" making a great screen. For me the biggest problem is trimming it,
The laurel doesn't grow from the stalks you cut down, it grows all new growth from that old stem. Give us an update in a months time so we can compare.
Just poke the prunings in a pot or in a spare bit of ground, just like you would do with roses. Do a lot, then if you lose some, it doesn't matter. I have them on a bank, just poked in the soil and left.