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Help needed please with laurel hedge issues...



  • Peter-11Peter-11 Posts: 12


    I purchased these off eBay 60 at £1.50, June 2014. No preperation mulched after planting. They also gave me three or four Buxus 


    This was taken early 2015


    Late 2015




    Taken a few weeks ago. I cut them back a little last year, the wind isn't a friend to any tall grown plant in a little pot. 

    The Buxus was slow to take but it's  making up for it and pushing the laurals back. I think it would make a decent hedge 


  • Peter-11Peter-11 Posts: 12

    Please excuse the second photo, here's the recipe for the picture, one iphone, one economy wash,one lovely wife, washing powder. 

    I would never plant leylandii over trimmed they go brown and never recover.They just want to reach 90 feet. Needless to say I am nor have any desire to be green fingered. 

  • Befuddled, would love to know how your hedge looks now. We have much the same problem as you did and would love to know how it's coming along?

  • befuddledbefuddled Posts: 34

    Hello Notagardener.

    Not a good time to post pics as they had their spring haircut just over a week ago. I really went to town on every stem I could get at, so they look MUCH more sparse than they did prior. Filled a couple of wheelie bins! We also lost about a foot height from most plants.


    If you look at the new growth (light green) though, I don't think it'll be long before that height is recovered. I have to say the advice about pruning was spot on because look at some of the cuts I've made in these pics, often a single cut has resulted in 5 or 6 new shoots on the same stem, mostly near the top, and they grow very quickly when they are like this. Last year it was just a couple of new stems that resulted from each cut. I think they are about to go wild. Need some rain!





    More than happy to post updates. I hate finding threads that aren't followed through, and may help someone in future. I'll post back in 4 weeks when this growth has established itself!

  • Wow! They look amazing. Thanks for posting photos. It really helps to see how they look. 

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,828

    That's brilliant, I am pleased that you cut them down as advised, the more you cut the thicker they will get, the stronger the plant, the less prone to disease or insect damage they will be. They'll soon be the height you wanted them and it hasn't taken long.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • befuddledbefuddled Posts: 34

    2 years exactly since I took this... 


  • Peter-11 and befuddled, Do not mind what everyone is telling you to cut back and loose your height. Instead just trim the odd weak one from the sides. From the look of Peters the work has not been put in to keep grass and weeds away from the base of the trees.

    I moved into our house in 2015 and all that was here was laurel twigs in the ground 11 inches tall in most places, fast forward to today 2017 and I have at least a 7 foot hedge all round with many sections of it 9 - 10 foot, what befuddled was after. All the neighbors around cannot believe the change and are always asking what I did even though many did notice the work I put in. I can post pictures later.

    Firstly laurel is more of a tree than a shrub, it wants and needs to grow and grow big. Just allow it to grow, to form a tree like shape, wide at the bottom smaller on top.

    To form it needs both water and food and no restrictions for the roots to grow and develop.

    Dig out all the soil about a meter either side of the hedge,be careful not to damage any roots and then remove any rocks/stones , fill back in but in stead of using fish blood and bone meal as others have mentioned, use an organic manure , I use organic chicken manure pellets so an handful of that around the roots works wonders.

    Then fill it back in then sprinkle some more around each plant out to about two feet either side. After this mow the lawn and use the grass clipping as mulch around the plants, (make sure not to have the clips right next to the trunk.

    Water well with a sprinkler nozzle, not full power as you want the pellets/manure to stay in position under the grass so that you get an even distribution of fertilizer to each plant.

    Once a week give them a good soaking, As the grass breaks down it will release more nutrients and suppress any weeds and grass that may try to grow and steal your nutrients and water. Keep adding you grass clippings every two weeks.

    Then sit back and within a month-two enjoy a flourishing hedge sprouting out left right and center, no need to do anything else your work is done.  

    For befuddled, you could have left you hedge the way it was in 2014 and just done what I just suggested and you would have a 14 foot hedge now.

    But for now remove the stones on either side a few feet add a few buckets of pellets and grass clippings water and enjoy. Store your stones somewhere until your desired height( obviously enough to block out the upper windows of all the neighbors houses) then you can put the stones back to finish the look. Act now and it may well be close by Autumn but definitely next year 100 percent.  

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    eexpress- befuddled has been on here for advice re his hedge for a couple of years. He followed the advice and now has a grand hedge and has learnt quite a bit on the way. I find some of your comments about that advice to be slightly rude and dismissive, especially as that was your  first post on this forum image

    I'm also guessing you don't live in the UK and your conditions might be very different. I certainly don't think any of the people asking for help are now going to start digging up the soil round their hedges.Generally, applying grass clippings is never a good idea in the UK as it tends to turn into a slimy mass or a solid barrier. 

    I think it would be tricky anyway, as I think befuddled has artficial grass.....image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • befuddledbefuddled Posts: 34

    Interesting input. I'd like to see the pics at the various stages. :)

    Purely on the basis of the anecdotal evidence I have at my disposal I'm going to disagree. I planted 19 plants in my back garden and 1 in my front. I've never pruned the one in the front, and it has not grown anything like the others. Aggressively pruning the ones in the back has led to multiple shoots from one cut, as can be seen in the recent pics. On the plant in the front, although there has been some reasonable growth, one stem remains one stem, and there is no corresponding bushiness. This is intentional for now - I'm happy with it quite small until I remove some other plants.

    4 weeks since my last pic and mine have taken off like rockets. At least a good 12-18" of really thick growth on the top and also sides. They are now offering privacy on the near side of the garden above the fence line. I'd post a pic but the garden is in the middle of some building works and is in a shocking state  image image image

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