Posted: 05/06/2012 at 18:55
@Abby2, Okay, I have two Laurels of different sizes, the first being shop brought mature shrub/tree of approx. 14ft high.
I left this one to grow for many years before hacking it back some and discovering that I rather liked its dark limbs, so its not a true standard, more my version of a tree. I prune off new shoots up to about five foot at which point it bushes out and is shaped rather like a large lolly-pop.
It works for me, I gain space underneath and I also like the dark branches that act as a good backdrop for planting in my borders.
The second is a seedling of the mature plant and more standard in that I decided from an early age to keep it to a single stem. Basically, most plants would be single stem except that they are pruned at the nursery to encourage bushy growth. This Laurel is about four foot high and I rub off the lower shoots as I see them and lolly-pop the head same as the other one like a mini-me. The shoots are much easier to rub off the small one since the thickness of its limb is only about the same as an adult arm, the mature one is an elephant in comparison so its a proper job of loppers and the saw.