The OP here. I just thought I'd pop back with an update a year on.
The laurels did nothing in the first year at all really. I pruned them hard in April this spring with some blood fish and bone, which was obviously too early as they turned brown until end of May when they started to go mad. In the last 6 weeks the growth has been very good. They've grown very bushy outwards rather than upwards really, but it's promising.
Need some height now. I'm wondering if there might be an issue, because in the last 2 weeks the growth has all but stopped, and the very new leaves at the end of each new shoot have shrivelled and gone holey. Pic below. I wouldn't say they've been over or under watered with the weather we've had. And because of the slope some get much more water than others as it all runs down the taram under the slate and puddles at the bottom (those seem the bushiest). The shrivelling is consistent across every new stem on every plant. Is there anything else they need, or is this a sign of something?
And the last question, is it beneficial to prune twice in a year, or should I just leave them alone now?
I wouldn't worry about them at all. I was just thinking, when looking at the full view of the plot, how great the hedge looks!
They're tough as old boots and now that they've filled out, you can let them grow on and just maintain the height when it gets to where you want it
The holes are Shot Hole disease. I puzzled over this one for years with my laurel hedge. It's a fungus. I spray with Fungus Fighter. Before you know it you will have a hedge like this.
This is about 8-10 foot high and 6-8 foot wide and is a lot of work to keep it tidyish. x
Hi. Thanks for the replies. I've heard of shot hole disease, but the shrivelling effect is only affecting the outer leaves of the new growth. But it's every outer leaf of every plant. If a new shoot has 10 leaves, it's literally only the final 1 or 2 leaves that are affected. Like I say the growth does appear to have stalled in the last 2 weeks. It's like they've just given up trying to grow. Could be weather I guess. Surely shot hole would affect every leaf equally?
Definitely interested to hear if a second prune is on the cards, or if it would do more harm than good in terms of max growth...
Our hedge gets Shot Hole in patches. I get the shrivelled new leaves too. It may be pruning too early in the year, not sure. We have blackbirds nesting in ours so don't prune until July when they have fledged. We only prune once as it's such a massive job.
I admit I was a bit sceptical at first that it could be shot hole as it was only the outer edged leaves that seemed affected, but having just had another look, if you look up at the sky through the leaves, you can see dark spots formed that haven't yet 'holed'. Would you say this is definitely shot hole?
If so, having read about it most people say no action is needed, it's no big deal. But would a product such as the below be suitable? I assume I would spray all over the plant?
And what I really want to know is, having already pruned this year and as the growth has stalled, is another prune mid-July OK or not? Will it encourage or discourage the growth rate, or worse damage the plant any?
I would never spray with a fungicide unless absolutely necessary. It will kill all the gazillions of beneficial micro-organisms as well as a few which might possibly make a few holes in some leaves And fungicides are really bad for human health too.
You've got a smashing hedge - it's slowed down 'cos spring is over - it's doing just fine. If it grew as fast in the summer as it does in the spring you'd not see any of us for huge laurel hedges.
Last edited: 09 July 2016 13:26:56
Methinks you're getting befuddled, befuddled
It's easy to overthink things. Your hedge is fine. It'll shrug off minor issues and get bigger and stronger .
It will keep on being fine unless some natural disaster happens!
Wow what a brilliant blog guys. Thank God for the Internet. ive never written on a blog before but this thread made me keen to ask for help! After seeing your progress befuddled I've plucked up the courage to ask everyone for their opinion. How are yours getting on dan9?
Do I need to chop these down a bit? sorry to jump on board!
I bought them at 5ft about 2 months ago and planted 9 out of 10 of them about 1 month ago - good soil a bit of compost and slow release plant food pellets As directed by the food packet. I planted some next to existing Portuguese laurels (at least I think that's what they are).
I love the garden and would love to see these turn out like the lovely creation that is befuddled's hedges.
Oh and Judith 5's lovely hedge!