Hedging For Shade Discover Why Laurel Is A Great Choice

Hedging For Shade Discover Why Laurel Is A Great Choice

Sizes and​ uses

Prunus laurocerasus is​ commonly known as​ the Cherry laurel or​ English laurel. it​ is​ quite often confused with Laurus noblis (bay laurel or​ Grecian laurel), which is​ the victory laurel of​ ancient Greece.

A hardy evergreen shrub native to​ Asia and​ Europe, it​ is​ often planted as​ a​ large ground cover or​ under-planting beneath forest trees. I once did some work for​ Newtown house in​ Abbeyknockmoy (an old estate house with a​ forest attached) and​ witnessed first hand​ how large and​ rampant it​ can grow. in​ some cases, its mature stems were growing serpentine-like, through and​ around the surrounding plants and​ trees. in​ cases such as​ this​ a​ single laurel plant can grow to​ the extremes of​ 7 metres wide (21ft), with a​ similar height. Within​ the garden, we gardeners tend to​ grow this​ laurel as​ a​ formal hedge or​ screen with much smaller dimensions due to​ pruning.

Growth rate, leaves, flowers and​ fruit

It is​ a​ hedge that will grow in​ conditions other hedges dread. Whether the situation​ is​ full sun, partial shade, deep shade, damp soil or​ dry soil, laurel will do well. Space laurel plants at​ 2ft centres in​ a​ row to​ run the length of​ your​ hedge. this​ hedging plant does not exactly possess the "Formula 1" growth rate of​ the Leylandii, you​ can realistically expect it​ to​ grow 1ft a​ year. With large, leathery, dark green leaves, Prunus laurocerasus foliage is​ superior to​ that of​ the Leylandii, it​ is​ more attractive and​ will reflect extra light into your​ garden due to​ sheen on​ the leaves upper surface. Each spring, white flower spikes are displayed amongst the glossy leaves, masses of​ these slightly fragrant flowers will bloom on​ loosely clipped plants. Small black coloured fruits form after flowering, these are actually inedible cherries. True to​ its name, the Cherry laurel is​ a​ member of​ the cherry family, the same as​ the plum, peach, apricot and​ almond.

When and​ how to​ prune

I am often asked when is​ the best time of​ year to​ attempt the pruning of​ your​ laurel hedge. Well, anytime from April to​ the end of​ August is​ a​ good time to​ prune your​ laurel hedging plants. The earlier they are pruned within​ this​ timescale, the earlier they will put on​ fresh growth to​ cover your​ pruning cuts. Try to​ prune laurel during a​ dry spell, as​ a​ bacterium know as​ Pseudomonas syringae can enter through pruning cuts created in​ damp weather. this​ unpleasant bacterium leads to​ the laurel dieback disease called bacterial canker. Pruning laurel with petrol or​ electric hedge-trimmers can lead to​ rough jagged cuts and​ unattractive half leaves; make your​ pruning cuts with secateurs instead. Do you​ need to​ transplant some Laurel? Well, Laurel plants tend to​ tolerate transplanting better in​ early spring.

Hedging For Shade Discover Why Laurel Is A Great Choice

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