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Do my laurels need a chop?


I am no gardener so am looking for gardeners' opinions.

Do I need to chop these right down to get better thickness to produce a good hedge?







  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,160

    As a general rule of thumb, if you want a thicker plant then you chop off the top and let it branch out. This goes for hedges as well as the more herbacious type of plant so I'd certainly give the laurels a bit of a trim.

  • Thanks a lot Ceres. Given the plant is about 5ft high, how much would one chop off the top and would one prune back some of the lower branches also, if so by a lesser amount?

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,160

    Now if I give you advice about that and all your plants die, you won't be very happy. I've cut a hedge down to 30 cm and it is now way taller than me and very thick, but it isn't laurel. I've also tried to get rid of a laurel and the damned thing is now in need of a good haircut with the hedge trimmer. So, with that in mind, take the plants down to about 1 metre and don't worry about the side shoots for now. I'm sure someone else will come along and tell you something different soon.

  • I think that sounds like sound advice as it marries up with what I was going to do. Cheers.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,797

    I agree with Ceres - cut them back to around a metre in height (I'd go a fraction lower myself) then I'd shorten any side-shoots by half.  It'll bush out and make a lovely thick hedge. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thank you Dovefromabove. I'll go a meter high and a wee bit off the sides. Then wait a year to reap the rewards!

  • Is this time of year ok to do it?

  • I spend my life chopping them down at all times of the year and they still come back with a vengeance so I doubt you could harm them whenever you cut them back. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,797

    It's fine to do it now. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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