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Plant ID? - see photo - location advice needed

James220James220 Posts: 11

Hello

I recently planted this plant. However I'm not 100% happy with where it is and I would like to move it to the other side of my border. However this will be quite near my neighbours and I am concerned it might grow quite big and I could have problems with overhang, roots etc? However I can't work out what might happen as I'm not sure on the ID!

Would anyone be able to shed some light on what they think it is and how it will grow? 

Thanks in advance!

James

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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,393

    Prunus laurocerasus, Laurel. Massive and hard to keep small and attractive. 

  • It depends what you want it to do.  If you want it to screen, hide the fence, then it will do just that and look attractive all year round.  I have a hedge of it and it is kept trim at 1m height and looks very smart all year.  Roots aren't going to be an issue.

  • James220James220 Posts: 11

    Thank you for your responses. 

    Sounds like it might grow quite big so I'll probably keep it where it is and see how it grows. It will nicely screen the fence and add some privacy. 

    I am curious as to how I would trim it? Is there any recommended technique?

    thanks!

  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    Trim laurel with secateurs  back to a leaf.. A hedge cutter will cut through the leaves

    SW Scotland
  • soulboysoulboy Posts: 429

    Hi James 220, if I were you I would move your little laurel as close as you can to the inside edge of that border if you're going to keep it there. As Nutcutlet said, they become massive. At the moment it's far too close to the fence to be able to grow properly.

    I learnt this lesson in my own garden when I bought some shrubs online and one of them was this laurel, which at the time wasn't labelled and was exactly the same size as yours.

    After a couple of years I had to cut out a section of the wooden fence that was there at the time to allow it to grow properly. And when the wooden fence was replaced with a metal one I also had to prune some decent size branches so the fence would fit. Fortunately I didn't have to prune too much as the new fence had much wider gaps than the previous one.

    The only pruning I've done is of the very lowest branches, near the base.

    Here's some before and after pictures.

    This is it when it was first planted, 2011.

    image

    And a year later.

    image

    2014

    image

    2015

    image

    And,October last year.

    image

    Last edited: 20 April 2017 11:29:59

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,004

    That one's barely got going yet Soulboy! You won't have room for anything else in your front garden soon. Last autumn I hacked down one I had planted in a woodland area that had grown 15ft+ high and wide and was engulfing an oak tree!

  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    Decide what shape you want the laurel to be.  I have one next to a yew.....both 6 feet high and pruned twice a year to keep them as columns.  It's a case of not allowing it to get out of hand.

    SW Scotland
  • It can be kept as small and tidy as you want it to be, I have even trained one into a large ball.    They don't look good if you let them grow too big and then decide to cut them right back.  They lose their leaves at the bottom so you get unsightly branches.  It can be kept as a small/medium sized hedge.  Mine has been in for 10 years now and looks nothing like Soulboy's free spirited specimen ;-)

  • soulboysoulboy Posts: 429
    James220 says:

    Thank you for your responses. 

    Sounds like it might grow quite big so I'll probably keep it where it is and see how it grows. It will nicely screen the fence and add some privacy. 

    I am curious as to how I would trim it? Is there any recommended technique?

    thanks!

    See original post

     James, although people are right when they say your laurel can be easily managed to keep it to your desired size and shape, I would still move it to as close as you can to the front edge of the border as you can, or to another spot in the garden.

    At the moment, your lovely little laurel is already touching the fence and as it grows you're not going to be able to get behind it to effectively prune it to a shape and size that would remain attractive. And, if you were to cut those fence-side branches now you would have to prune the rest accordingly and have a very slim tree.

    Moreover, your shrubs adjacent to the laurel are going to be overwhelmed as the latter increases in size and they need some room to grow, too. Is that a bamboo on the left?

    As it gets bigger you can crown lift it by pruning some of the lowermost branches, which will allow air to circulate and provide room for any nearby plants to grow around it. It will start producing more shoots and branches when that's been done, but you can just prune those as they appear.

  • soulboysoulboy Posts: 429
    Buttercupdays says:

    That one's barely got going yet Soulboy! You won't have room for anything else in your front garden soon. Last autumn I hacked down one I had planted in a woodland area that had grown 15ft+ high and wide and was engulfing an oak tree!

    See original post

     Indeed, Buttercupdays! When I identified what it was after planting it I was shocked to find out that the ultimate height and girth are both 8 metres, albeit over a twenty to fifty year period. Although, the rate mine is growing it might get there sooner.

    I do like to let my plants grow as naturally as possible where I can and the spirea and viburnum in the same part of the garden have only ever had light, essential pruning. However, coincidentally I am considering pruning the laurel this year, before it becomes too big to manage and before it cuts off the light to the rest of the garden.

    The light is less of an an issue as the garden is east-facing. The only reason I haven't done it thus far is because it's been in flower and it's nesting season. I've noticed a blackbird has been in there a lot.

    I am reluctant to do it, especially with regard to the height and I may still just prune it to reduce the width and let the central, tallest branches remain.

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