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That looks like the common or English laurel.


thank u    we just moved into a new house with large garden,, the laurel (now i know what it is   is about 12ft tall and 12ft wide, there i 4 trees once its cut back is it easy to maintain???   coz we think of getting rid of it all together    any advice would be great  xx


It's often used as a hedging plant.  You can cut it back as hard as you like - it'll look awful for a couple of months and then it'll leaf up again, sprouting new shoots from the oldest wood.  After that it'll need trimming once a year if you want it to be a formal hedge - they're better trimmed with secateurs, removing whole leaves, rather than with shears or clippers which chop through leaving ragged leaves.  Or you can grow it as a more informal shrub, and chop it back every few years.  Either way it's a handsome plant.

It's also good at providing shelter from cold winter winds and it may have been planted with that in mind so if I were you I'd get to know your garden before you get rid of anything big.  

it is but id rather a shrub with flowers on, like a lilac,,   we was told to drill big holes and fill it with weed killer to try and kill it back before getting rid,  gardening is very new to me x


If it is a big garden don't you have room for both?

Befor you start poisoning things,!!

Evergreen shrubs are so good for wildlife.


They aren't that difficult to dig up. Speaking as a pensioner, with a slightly older pensioner partner, we have dug up lots of them in the garden, some were over 12 feet high, but they didn't put up much of a fight once we found the main root. Nicer than poisoning, which is such a sad sight.

To give them their due, they do grow in the deepest shade where many other things won't grow. If they are doing this in your garden, there may be a reason for them being there.

shelley lawrence wrote (see)

it is but id rather a shrub with flowers on, like a lilac,,   ....

Lilac only has flowers on for a couple of weeks - a month at the most - then they go brown and look sad for a few weeks unless you get on a step ladder and prune them all off. Then all you've got is rather dull green leaves for the rest of the spring and summer, then in the winter lilac is just bare branches.

In the winter the evergreen laurel provides shelter for small garden birds and hedgehogs often hibernate in the dry leaves beneath them.  Also blackbirds love to nest in laurels - they're so well-hidden from the sparrowhawks in it's deep shadows.

And the light reflecting off the glossy leaves of a laurel can give a real sparkle to the garden.


what Dove says about lilac applies to all those other bright coloured things in GCs and catalogues. You need some of those but a good solid evergreen background is a wonderful thing. For shelter (you and the wildlife) and a visual backdrop.

Don't rush to demolish


Yes, I agree it's laurel.  I have a great big bush of it as you drive up to my cottage.  It's massive in height and width and I wouldn't be without it at all.  It provides much needed shelter for an acer I planted, and will also provide shelter from the freezing cold winters I get (NE Scotland).  I lost a glorious acer a couple of years ago because I left it exposed to the elements where I used to live, so am having another go at growing one in front of this massive Laurel I have.  I have only had to lop the laurel back a couple of times over the last 18 months or so, I don't find it too imposing, just cut back the odd new shoots that grow.  They are very fleshy and so easy to cut through with secateurs.  In spring, the laurel also produces lovely bunches of white sweet smelling flowers that are quite heady in scent some days, and at the moment it has plump green berry type things on.  If you decide to get rid of your Laurel, I hope you don't live to regret it after

iv a large garden, with many other trees and bushes and shrubs for wildlife to live in, we not rushing to get rid of the laurel,, but strongly thinking about it,,,,  if we cut it right back its going to just look brown and awful,  we would like to put a shed where the laural is or even a pond which will provide a home for wildlife,,,   i do care and love wildlife

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