Healthy and Robust Laurel Hedges

Credit: istock

Q: My laurel hedge has become very pale in colour and thin in places. Does it need a feed or do you think there could be another reason?

While your “Laurel hedge” (Prunus laurocerasus) could be thin due to a lack of feeding, it is possible the hedge is just getting older or there may be competition for nourishment from surrounding vegetation.

You have two options: Cut the hedge back into woody growth and allow it to re-grow. Or, cut it back in stages (over two to three seasons) by thinning selective branches to allow for re-growth, with this alternative being the less drastic one.

Spring is the perfect time for trimming – before new growth sprouting begins. Avoid drastic pruning late in the season because it could impede new growth or soft tissue that may be temperature sensitive.