Q:

How do you care for a compact cherry laurel?

A:

Quick Answer

Care for a compact cherry laurel by planting it in a location with room for a 6- to 8-foot spread and a 10- to 12-foot height and access to full or partial sun. It needs well-draining soil and regular watering until it becomes established.

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Full Answer

To care for a compact cherry laurel, plant it in well-drained soil. Rocky soil can cause heat stress and withered leaves, and soggy soil can cause root rot. Because the tree produces toxic chemicals, plant it away from children and pets.

Water a young laurel tree well. Once it becomes established, only water it in drought-like conditions. If the tree becomes too hot, it is more likely to be infested by borers. It can also develop verticillium wilt due to a fungal infection, a condition more likely to occur if the tree is overwatered. Other diseases to watch out for include fire blight, canker infections and leaf spot. Under the former, caused by bacteria, foliage and flowers shrivel. Canker infections result in sunken bark, whereas leaf spot causes leaf discolorations.

Only prune the tree occasionally to control shape or size. It can be trimmed into hedge form or into an upright form depending on space limitations. Trim back leggy top shoots down to the nearest leaf node.

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