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The winter hardy and evergreen cherry laurel is an attractive eye-catcher in every garden, both as a hedge and as a solitaire. It is often used for sight hedges or as a land border. The laurel cherry grows about 30 cm per year and therefore requires a regular pruning as a hedge. In general, the plant is quite easy to maintain and after frost damage, which can sometimes occur in our latitudes, good again. It can be easily cut, if some important points are considered.
The laurel cherry is a poisonous plant for humans and animals and can cause a high-grade allergic reaction and poisoning, especially among allergic persons. If your property borders on a cow pasture or sheep pasture or on a paddock, you should better not create a laurel cherry hedge as the border of your property.
Tip: Always wear gloves when cutting the laurel cherry and keep your children and pets away from the freshly cut plant!
Who does not plant the cherry laurel as a hedge, has basically hardly any work with this plant. Actually, the laurel cherry does not have to be cut. However, it is very rare that it can receive the necessary space to grow extensively in height and width. For example, the cherry laurel bushes planted in solitaire also require nursing cutting measures such as a cherry laurel hedge.
Tip: When cutting the laurel cherry always make sure that you do not cut through the leaves if possible. They usually dry out too quickly, turn brown and look ugly before they fall off later. However, it can not always be avoided that leaves are severed when using a hedge trimmer. However, if cut at the right time, the newly expelled leaves cover the halved leaves.
Tools for cutting
- Sharp, clean secateurs
- optional motorized hedge trimmer
Basically, the cherry laurel can be cut throughout the year, however, the early spring before the budding start is preferred as the first cutting time and the August after the flowering time as the second cutting time. If cut in late autumn, the plant would not be able to drive out again and not cover the resulting halved leaves. The halved leaves would thus remain on the plant until next year and be very susceptible to their interfaces in winter time, even though the plant is generally frost resistant. If, on the other hand, the cherry laurel is cut after flowering in August, it can once again grow well and cover the halved leaves with its new leaves, thus protecting it. Above all, older, vigorous cherry laurel hedges are cut twice a year. If the hedge is not as vigorous, a cut is sufficient in the year, ideally in late June, early August.
Always make sure that no birds nest in the hedge that you want to cut. From the beginning of March, breeding birds can sit in dense branches in their nests. For this reason the nature conservation federation recommends to carry out the cutting work before this time.
Tip: Search the cherry laurel hedge thoroughly for bird nests. If there really is a bird family in your hedge, move the cut to a later date once the birds have flown out. Do not move the nests!
Cherry laurel hedges are first cut at the sides. The cut should be slightly slanted here. This means that the hedge is tapered towards the top and comes close to the natural growth habit of the cherry laurel plant. In contrast, the lower branches drop their leaves when the hedges are cut exactly vertically. Once the sides have been cut, a straight cut is made at the top of the hedge.
Instructions for a horizontal straight hedgecut:
Provide 2 rods, which are about 40 to 50 cm longer than the desired cutting height, and put these into the ground to the left and right of the hedge. Then measure the cutting height from ground level and mark the height at the two bars. Stretch a string at the level of the markings or use a self-made wooden frame.Then use the string or frame when cutting as a guide and guidance. Cut the areas of the hedge rather looser than too hard. Likewise, you can chamfer the corners of the hedge to take her the austerity.
High hedge - high effort
If you would like to pull a cherry laurel hedge as a screen, you should be aware beforehand that a high hedge also means a very high care effort. Not only does it have to be cut on the back, but it also requires a ladder. A loose sight protection planting with a low hedge of cherry laurel plants in front of it can be realized much easier than a 1.80 m to 2 m high screen hedge, which may even be 3 to 8 m long.
Comfortable height - fast cut
1, 30 m to 1.50 m applies to many home gardeners and experts as a convenient height for cutting. A ladder is superfluous for this. Likewise, the intersection of low hedges can be realized faster and easier. The cut is very straightforward, especially with a normal pruning shears and no leaves are cut in half.
Radical section only for diseases
Older cherry laurel plants can not tolerate extreme pruning. Therefore, cut an older cherry laurel hedge twice a year as a single radical and remove some older shoots directly from the base to get more light inside the hedge. Only with illnesses it makes sense to make a radical cut!
A cherry laurel plant in solitary position is cut with a sharp secateurs and brought into shape. Here, the loose pruning can be done quietly into the old wood, so that large and older plants are well-lit. Only with fungal infestation or infestation with other diseases, the specimen plant, such as the hedges too, radically put on the stick.
The cherry laurel is a cut-resistant hedge plant and also well suited for solitaire position. Growing and densely growing cherry laurel hedges are cut twice a year. Not so vigorous need only one cut per year. It is best cut with a hand tool, instead of a motorized hedge trimmer, otherwise ugly halved leaves remain, which turn brown and later fall off. However, it is not always possible for hobby gardeners to invest so much time in very large and high hedges. That's why you decide for yourself which tool you want to use.