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Growing laurel at the base of leylandii

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I have a long row of Leylandii x Cupressocyparis (Leyland cypress) which are thinning at the base. I want to plant Prunus laurocerasus 'Rotundifolia' (Cherry laurel 'Rotundifolia') between each tree. What should I do to ensure success?

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  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Wed. 16th June 2010 11:32

Re: Growing laurel at the base of leylandii

Reply from Ena Ronayne

Hi Brian

Are these leylandii growing like trees or is it a manicured hedge that happens to be thinning at the base with enough space between each for plants?

Any possibility in the very near future of this hedge / trees being felled?

I ask these questions because it is imperative that you decide what is the long term plan for this area.

After all there's no point throwing money at it - new planting - the upkeep and maintenance - feeding - watering etc

Depending on the state of these existing conifers, in order to ensure the success of any new planting, I hate to say it but I would firstly remove the leylandii if budget allows. If you are going to do this ensure you do so after nesting season (from September onwards).

If you are insisting on keeping these leylandiis you need to work really hard to improve the impoverished soil. As I am sure you are aware these conifers draw all the moisture and nutrients out of the existing soil which obviously affects all plants in the area (both existing and new).

In general it is usually way too dry and way too shady for any plant to survive to full maturity if grown under these conditions, however the specimens you've suggested are excellent plants and should do well there if you put in the time and do the prep work properly.

You'll need to dig in loads of well rotted manure and soak the whole area days before planting. You may need to bring in some top soil depending on what the existing soil is like. Ideally depending on where you live if you could do all the prep work end of summer early autumn with the planting to take place early in the new year. This will allow some time for the manure to do its work.

Once planting has taken place each plant will need at least one full watering can of water per night (of course this depends on when you propose to plant).

Maybe you should give this some more thought.....

Let me know what you plan to do or if you need any more ideas or help I'll be glad to advise....

  • Posted: Thu. 17th June 2010 20:11