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I have a number of rather large Spotted Laurel plants in my back garden that I wish to remove as they are pretty huge and take up the best part of the sunny spots in the garden and I want to use the space for something else.
Any tips on the most effective method of getting rid? I am unsure of how far down the roots go, and if I don't dig them all out, am curious as to the likelihood of the plant doing a Doctor Who on me...
The job is being made more difficult by dry soil and the roots from a nearby tree. I suspect I am also trying to dig up the tree!!
They won't re-grow from any bits of roots left, if that's what you mean. A lot of their roots are near-surface, but they do spread quite far - if they are really large you might find it hard work.
From my experience you need to get down and dirty. After pruning the top down to a manageable stump, dig out as much soil around the roots as you can, hack through the larger roots with the sharp end of your spade, loppers or even an axe. Watch out for your toes!
I dug out a 15yr climbing rose two years ago and its only just recovering, ( I know you don't want to save them) and I'm not kidding that I had to go down a metre. I also have a 15yr old Choisya Tenata that needs moving so I'm with you in spirit if not body.
There was a hedge of spotted laurel at the front of our garden when we arrived some 15 years ago. We chopped it down as far as possible, but because of the wall, road and tarmacadamed drive were not able to remove all the roots. Each year new leaves woud sprout and each year we chopped them off, eventually it got fed up and stopped growing, but I must tell you it did take time - about 10 years. Anyway, we planted a mixed hedge in the improved soil, and (unless I go out there and find differently) the laurel has now gone!!