Posted: 04/07/2017 at 08:28
We have one that is as almost as tall as our cottage with a canopy about 5m/16ft across. It was here when we moved in last year and we have kept it as it helps with privacy and we have been able to expose its trunk which is a great shape so it looks quite architectural - think tree rather than shrub/hedge
They are monsters to be honest, we had the canopy trimmed and shaped to the 5m from about 6 or so this time last year and I reckon it's put half of that back on this year. We also have some along our boundary - never shaped or close enough to be a hedge unfortunately and are about to give them another bout of major surgery. I suspect they are self seeded from the big tree and most are around 4m tall
They seem to put most of their growth on between spring and about now - from our limited 15 months experience - as we don't remember they put much if any on last summer after been trimmed in the July just started to go mad again this year.
If left untrimmed you do get nice flowers and ours are cherry laurels so we also get cherry shaped fruits which mature from yellow-green to red to black but watch out for babies seeding in your borders. They also drop leaves most of the year and sometimes at an incredible rate especially this time of year - collected a trug full yesterday from the laurel tree - am not usually fussed about leaves on borders but there are huge things (longer than my hand) so visually smother small plants and they take forever to break down.
Having said all that, I really like my tree as he is quite different. And they are a strong glossy green so the shrub like ones along the boundary are a good evergreen backdrop to other planting, But would happily get rid of those along the boundary if they weren't giving us the privacy