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English Cherry Laurel for a hedge

Posted on August 16, 2015 by David Fairley | 0 comments
English Laurel could not really be trumped as a popular hedging plant. Hedges are practical as well as a means for a aesthetically pleasing addition to the garden. Laurel then is known as an evergreen plant that makes an excellent hedge, however the is only plant that can truly be known as Laurel. This is Prunus laurocerasus, Prunus being Latin for Cherry, our classic and beloved English Laurel plant is indeed a Cherry, and thus the reason that Prunus laurocerasus is also known a Cherry Laurel.

There are hundreds of species of Prunus but there are also many variants of laurocerasus, our classic Laurel plant we use for hedges is Prunus laurocerasus 'Rotundifolia.' But a similar but less known Laurel is Prunus laurocerasus 'schipkaensis,' this is well worth considering as a different option of English Cherry Laurel planting. English Cherry Laurel is evergreen and has a very leathery and thick leaf that also can grow very large indeed if left to grow checked. The other variant of Prunus laurocerasus that we recommend and make a great hedge is known as 'Otto Luyken' which has a much darker green colour to its leaves than 'Rotundifolia' and the leaves are longer and thinner too.

The are also other genus of plants that are commonly mistaken as Laurel, the most common is Acuba, also evergreen and grows in a similar manner to Prunus laurocerasus but is a totally different plant, but can make a good and thick hedge. The very impressive Magnolia grandifolia looks similar to English Cherry Laurel too, however to the experienced gardener will know the tree itself grows in a very different way to Magnolia grandiflora and is not a suitable plant for a hedge. The white flowers of all species of Prunus laurocerasus are lovely and fragrant, however they will not be seen when using the plant as a hedge. If you do use English Laurel, Cherry Laurel or in its Latin name Prunus laurocerasus as a specimen plant then the Royal Horticultural Society suggest it should be pruned using their Pruning Group 9. Pruning is essential for all shrubs, to keep their shape as even and vibrant as they possibly can be, but also to keep the shrub compact enough to fit in the space they are situated in.

English Laurel or Cherry Laurel make fantastic hedging, thick and fast growing. Tough and hardy against fungus and frosts, any damage sustained can quickly thicken out again quickly, as an example this is not the case with so many conifer choices. An easy to manage hedge. Another interesting fact and a worthwhile warning to gardeners is that Prunus laurocerasus does contain chemicals that when burnt produce cyanide as a bye product. With this in mind we heavily suggest you do not add your Cherry Laurel / Prunus laurocerasus to a bonfire. If you do, certainly do not stand around the bonfire inhaling the smoke. There is recordings of people collapsing and worse next to bonfires. We hope you have enjoyed our passion for Laurel.
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