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  • Pruning a bay

    I've got this little bay tree that was a bit of a rescue. It's coming along nicely now but there's a bit in the middle I want to remove to improve the shape. Can I just cut it off low down or is there a specific time I should be doing this?

    Cheers.
    Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
    By singing-'Oh how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade,
    While better men than we go out and start their working lives
    At grubbing weeds from gravel paths with broken dinner-knives. ~ Rudyard Kipling

  • #2
    Evergreens should be pruned in the growing season, so now is as good a time as any.
    Bear in mind that whatever you cut off will almost certainly try to grow back. Bay are just like that.

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    • #3
      Thanks ameno.
      Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
      By singing-'Oh how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade,
      While better men than we go out and start their working lives
      At grubbing weeds from gravel paths with broken dinner-knives. ~ Rudyard Kipling

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      • #4
        For your amusement, and to show lack of fear for bays, we pruned ours this year:

        Here are the before and after pictures and its now growing strongly. It was planted as a small bay cutting by my daughter 20 years or so ago.

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        • #5
          Bay trees planted directly in the ground can easily produce 20 inch lead shoots in a season.
          I have got one that is 12 feet tall.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Plot70 View Post
            Bay trees planted directly in the ground can easily produce 20 inch lead shoots in a season.
            I have got one that is 12 feet tall.
            They sucker like mad, too.
            My uncle's garden is full of bay (two big, mature bay hedges along two sides of the garden), and he has spend years trying to remove half of it.

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            • #7
              My large bay is growing through a window in a concrete slab so suckering is restricted.

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              • #8
                Just gave my bay a prune last night. It was getting really bushy and taking over the bed so took away quite a lot of the bushy growth around the base. Not trying to make it look like a lollipop but ‘ lifted the canopy’ will help the other plants a bit. What Is best to do with the leaves I cut off? Was going to keep and dry but some leaves are pretty young and soft if you know what I mean.

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                • #9
                  Give the leaves away as you have plenty of fresh ones for your own use.

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