London (change)
10 messages
10/03/2014 at 12:21


hi, ive inherited a HUGE laurel at the end of my garden, its massive. i just about managed to keep it in shape last summer but i swear its just got bigger anyway! im thinking of getting rid of it but then id be over looked. it is creating alot of shade for my already small garden and i dont thing im going to be able to maintain it properly this year due to busy lifestyle. could i cut it down to a stump and start again from scratch   any ideas ??

10/03/2014 at 12:34

Hi it can be cutback even down to its base ,it will come back

10/03/2014 at 12:39

thanks alan, i might do that 

10/03/2014 at 13:11

We had one even bigger than this!  We cut it right back to the ground and it was shooting again within weeks.  So cut it right down to the height you want (if you want to keep it);  or if you want to get rid of it, remember you'll need to treat the stumps or it will be back in a year!

Personally I think I'd replace it with something prettier...but you might not agree.

10/03/2014 at 13:53

Laurels can be cut back hard but they respond by putting on amazing amounts of growth so I would consider digging it out as soon as you can.  You can get privacy from a trellis panel or 2 to replace it - raised up on tall fence posts if needs be - and grow some decorative climbing roses and/or clematis or honeysuckle depending on soil and aspect.

Another alternative would be a small tree such as a sorbus kashmeriana or a prunus serrulata which have extended seasons of interest and won't cast so much shade.

10/03/2014 at 15:32

I agree with all the above.  But how about cutting off all the lower branches and maybe thinning out the crown to turn it into a standard?

Or to continue Obelixx's idea, how about a birch, maybe a variety with pure white bark?  Or, better still, a fruit tree?


And, unless your garden's enormously long, if you think that's a big laurel, you ain't seen nuttin yet.  My friend (in Belgium) has a very long thin garden and the end was overgrown with enormous laurels, some of which we took out.  And at my mum's flats there's a laurel hedge higher than her first-floor kitchen window.

11/03/2014 at 19:09

thanks everyone. ive chopped it down and im going to treat the root and make a rose border

11/03/2014 at 23:21

Why did you bother to ask our advice, yesterday?

If you're busy, laurel is much less bother than a rose border.

12/03/2014 at 08:14

You mentioned being overlooked if you take the laurel out. Roses aren't evergreen so they won't give you a physical barrier to prevent it. If you still want that, you'd need to put some evergreen climbers or 'wall' shrubs behind them - on  a trellis or something  if you don't have a fence there. 

12/03/2014 at 09:12

Good decision, Hilly!  You won't miss it, I promise.

Do think about a (nice) tree at the back of the border, though, to avoid the 'overlooked' issue - obelixx and steve's suggestions are both great ones.

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