getting rid of Laurel hedge, Finally!!

treepalm(z8WA)March 6, 2008

Hello all,

I've been cutting down the horrible laurel hedge in front of my house. I'm leaving about 5' of branches to hold up the exsisting fence, but once I start putting in a new fence everything will have to go. I know that Laurel is hard to kill, so do any of you have suggestions? I have a dog in the yard that eats everything, so I have to keep that in mind. Plus, the former owner put a water line in when they put in the hedge, so I'm afraid to try to pull them out by the roots, since I don't want to break the line.

Thanks for any help!


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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

My DH pulled the stumps out with a chain and his pick up. Due to the soil being very moist, they came right out. We drug them to the street and paid someone to come with a big chipper.

This hedge was forty feet long, ten feet front to back and ten feet tall.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 11:53AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

G. Schenk (The Complete Shade Gardener) says

In its garden range, this is a common hedge plant. But the planting of an English Laurel hedge is an act of aggression against one's neighbor--against oneself as well. It is the fightingest of hedges, pushing outward and upward as soon as you turn your back. English Laurel is one of the greatest goads to giving up on the yard and moving into an apartment--in a very real sense, this shrub is a real estate agent

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 1:47PM
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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

You could cut it down to the ground and then use a stump killer, if you don't want to pull it out. I think you can still buy cans of Stump Killer at nurseries, or use Brush B Gon and drill holes in the stump and pour it in full strength.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 11:51AM
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I removed our laurel hedging the hard way: lots of digging and hacking with an axe and spade. The largest stems were around 5 inches across, and I would dig back until the roots were around an inch diameter.

Given that the hedge was on a raised bank, and that the soil was quite fine, these roots were still extremely awkward to remove.

Here is a link that might be useful: How I removed our Laurel hedge

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 5:15PM
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I ripped mine out by the roots but know that it will be a continual battle to suppress the stuff coming back from smaller roots and seed. Hoe, hoe, hoe for the seedlings and a few digs on those coming up from roots will decimate the stuff. If you keep any new shoots chopped off immediately it will starve the roots and you'll eventually kill the root.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 1:22AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, sprout suppression starves the rest. Should happen fairly quickly, if you are consistent. After the stumps have been dead for awhile they can be popped out.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 12:26PM
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It can take a while. I had two located right against a fence. I chopped them down and cut what I could of the roots and had the stumps ground down and buried them under several inches. One of my laurels died quickly and peacefully but the other still sends up suckers a couple times a summer even after two years. Doesn't take much to cut them down but I'm beginning to feel like it's part zombie.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 7:01PM
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I'm chopping down a row of photinia, to make room for a grape vine I have to try and move. This ph. hedge is about 6ft tall and 3ft wide and 25ft long, gets full sun all day, will be perfect for a nice grape arbor.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 1:23AM
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