How to plant laurel hedging

Written by gail delaney
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Laurel hedging (Prunus laurocerasus Rotundifolia ) are fast-growing plants, suitable to use for a privacy hedge or as a windbreak. They are evergreens that produce small flowers in the spring, that are later followed by little berry fruits. Laurel hedging does equally well whether planted in full sun or shade. Depending on how often you want to trim your hedge, they can grow from 3 feet to 30 feet in height. No need for a lot of soil amending either, because this plant grows in all types of soils except for shallow chalk.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Spade or tiller
  • Water
  • Compost
  • 5-gallon bucket or wheelbarrow
  • Utility knife
  • Soaker hose

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Dig the holes twice as wide and twice as deep as the laurel's container. Space the laurel hedging 2 to 3 feet apart for a thick hedge, or 4 to 6 feet apart for a hedge less dense.

  2. 2

    Fill each hole with water and allow the water to drain into the soil. This ensures that each laurel has moisture in the soil for the roots. If the water does not drain away after 10 hours, add 3 inches of sand or gravel at the bottom of the hole to improve drainage.

  3. 3

    Amend the soil that you removed from the hole with compost. The ratio of compost to soil should be 1-to-2. Incorporate this into the soil on the ground, or scoop up the soil, and place it into a 5-gallon bucket or wheelbarrow and mix it in there.

  4. 4

    Remove one laurel hedge tree from the container, keeping the root ball in tact. If the laurel does not come out of the pot easily, take a sharp knife and cut the pot away.

  5. 5

    Scoop the amended soil into the hole, filling it half full. Set the laurel into the hole. Add or remove some of the soil until the top of the root ball is about a half-inch higher than the ground, because the ground will settle under the laurel. When the root ball is at the right height, fill in the rest of the hole with amended soil.

  6. 6

    Tamp the soil to remove air pockets. Place a dripper hose over the ground and turn the water on. Allow the water to run until the soil is moist to a depth of 18 inches. Keep the soil moist for the first two years or until it is established.

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