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Laurel. Half plant has died back.

Good day All. I have a regulat fortnightly maintenance customer with a decent sized garden and a mature 25+ foot laurel as the first part of his border with a neighbour. This shrub was previously allowed to shoot upwards allowing it to become long,  sparseand lank. I suggested reducing it a bit at a time.  Two years ago I reduced the back (closest to the neighbours fence) of the plant by cutting the uprights down to about 12 feet. I left the front part for privacy while expecting the back to bush out and grow again. I am now noticing the entire back parts of the plant are leafless spears of wood. The leaf loss is total at the rear. The front isnt great but is nowhere near as bad and I believe will be fine with regular watering.  Any ideas what may have caused this and how to encourage growth? I am tempted to reduce the affected stems to just below fence height and hope they kickstart some leaf stems. Meanwhile at the front I am thinking of cutting back alternative stems. The customer understandably wants his privacy back. I have previously never had an issue with reducing laurel -even drastically- and not seen anything like this.

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  • If anyone is interested (I prefer to think no one had the answers!), I've recently had a better look at this. One noticable thing is that the neighbour has laid a concrete base and sited an outbuilding. I'm thinking now that he may have damaged the roots in laying this pad. My plan is now to cut the affected part down low and hope the plant will chuck out new roots and shoots as it has less wood to feed. I'll also thoroughly water regularly and possible give the ground a good compost/mulch cover.

  • I have a 14ft Laurel as a back fence between us and the neighbour at rear. The Laurel had a big hole in the middle which was not great privacy for either of us. i bought 3 baby laurels (1 foot) let them settle in to cover the hole. Well they were really slow growing so what i did was buy some Miracle gro liquid all purpose plant food & double dosed ( 2 caps full) in a 1 litre pop bottle ( big lucozade bottle) and fed each plant at the base every 7 days for 5 weeks. Growth was remarkable hole is completly covered now.

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