Cherry Laurels

lisap1(7b MS)October 10, 2004

We have a 2 acre lot that used to back up to woods and was very private. Someone is now building on the lot next to us and can look directly into our back yard and back windows. Someone suggested that I plant Cherry Laurels as a screen for privacy. We have a pool and hot tub, so I don't want anything that will shed leaves profusely. Any suggestions or comments?

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ladybug24(z8 AL)

DON'T...Cherry laurels have seed and before you know it you will have a million of these popping up everywhere.
Why not Red tops???? Grows fast and easy to manage if kept pruned.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 5:54PM
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Try Leyland cypress. You can get a variety of types now that grow medium to tall. The grow tall and wide very quickly.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 10:14PM
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Surely no one suggested red tips, as in photinias? There are no reputable nurseries that even sell these.

There are numerous fast growing shrubs...
cleyera, ligustrum, tea olives, pineapple guava, wax myrtle, pittosporum, eleagnus to name a few.

I have not ever heard of cherry laurels being messy with seedlings. Ever plant has its plus & minus list. It mostly depends on what you like.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 10:23PM
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Tent caterpillers love cherry laurels. So if you have a problem with them in your area, I would put in something else.

They do re-seed easily, but no more that oaks. If you are going to pull weeds, you just as well pull tree seedlings too.

They will also be dropping fruit in your pool too. It's quite small, but it's there and I think it will stain.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 11:24PM
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The comments about Cherry Laurels reseeding are quite correct, however, we have about 150' of mixed hedgerow that seperates our property from the lot next door. It's mostly mixed Cherry Laurel and Youpon. Make a very effective screen, requires almost no maintenance. In a few select spots I've thrown in a Sasanqua or Camellia. There are also a couple of Redbud trees but those do shed leaves. Also have a couple of Leucothoe populifolia (Agarista populifolia) and a big Michelia figo (Banana Shrub) It works for me.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 9:45PM
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Burford Holly. Beautifully scented during spring flowering that provide pollen for bees, beautifull evergreen foliage, and tremendous crops of red berries in the fall that in some years last until spring, other years provide food for the birds. I have not been able to find a downside to these plants.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 12:53PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

I'm doing the same research for my road bank. Cherry laurels on my list, nice historic Southern garden plant, but considered marginally hardy here in 7A. Second a selection of mixed shrubs, thoughtfully positioned for foliage contrast and general effect, so that if one dies it'll have minimal effect on the whole composition. A few evergreens to consider beside those already mentioned--or seconding them: Myrica cerifera (Southern Wax Myrtle) soft billowy look; Osmanthus fragrans, heterophyllus and fortunei for fragrance, fragrance, and fragrance; Illiciums of various varieties for fragrant foliage, and parviflorus has nice lighter green foliage for contrast; Eleagnus ebbengei for fragrance, grayish foliage, variety not known to be invasive; Loropetalum for white flowers and soft green foliage or magenta flowers with purplish foliage; Cotoneaster lacteus (Parney cotoneaster) slightly weeping form and red berries for cedar waxwing feasting; seconding the wonderful Banana shrub and for sure hollies, including Burford and Dwarf Burford, which I'm also liking more and more all the time. There are other good ones that I can't think of now, but most of these are quite tough and trouble-free and most, but not all, are pretty drought-resistant once established too.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 1:50PM
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The previous message mentioned Illicums. This is an excellant idea for a screen and you can get the bonus of fragrant folliage. I also wanted to mention, if you have the space, in a woodland garden or natual setting a mixed row of Magnolias and Hollies can be fantastic. This probably would not work for your pool screen but where one has the space, a dense, evergreen screen can be created that is quite effective, especially as it matures.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 3:24PM
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Just a word of caution. Although it can be a beautiful plant when sited correctly, Southern Wax Myrtle is just as bad if not worse at reseeding, it suckers horribly, and is easily damaged (read "split") during ice storms. IMO, it is much better suited for the coastal plains where it reaches its greatest numbers, not 7b in MS where you WILL have ice storms.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 5:46PM
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LoraxDave(z7B Alabama)

Hi Rosie, if you want to use Prunus caroliniana (Carolina Cherry Laurel) in your location, I doubt that hardiness will be an issue. I have sometimes seen them rated as Zone 8, but don't really understand why. They are naturalized into areas of the Southeast that are in zone 7B, such as where I live! Also, I have heard of people growing this plant successfully in the Mid-Atlantic and even in Pittsburgh, where Winters are far more harsh.

I actually like Carolina Cherry Laurel a lot, but I know many people loathe them because of the reseeding problems. I have two, but have not yet experienced a reseeding problem. It seems like seedlings could just be mowed down, but I do not have firsthand experience. LOL.

I have not had suckering problems with any of my Wax Myrtles (yet). Most of mine are some that I grew from cuttings of a particular tree that I liked in a commercial parking lot island. LOL. They certainly are fast growers. Mine have gone from cuttings to shrubs that are about 7-8 feet high and several feet wide in just 3 seasons. Ice storm damage is definitely an issue, although we have not had a major ice storm here in ~20 years. Definitely overdue for one, but we are really not on the Winter Storm track here in Alabama. Areas East and West tend to get more for some reason.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2004 at 11:11AM
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topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)

Hm, some of those recomendations don't sound too hardy in your zone...better check with local nurseries or cherry laurel hedge was free...I looked around for seedlings around the yard. So, yes they reseed, but it is still a beautiful and quick (and free) hedge.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2004 at 10:28PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Thanks, Dave. That's good to hear about the cherry laurels. It may be that seeding is a more serious problem in warmer climes, but I have a lot of ground to cover and like topsiebeezelbub can use the free plants.

I'm also glad to get Pterostyrax's and your warning about ice damage problems with wax myrtle, which I hadn't heard about. I'm concerned about possible winter leaf burn making them unattractive in winter here in 7A/B, but given their extremely fast growth rate and positioning within a shrub border (once one grows up), I don't think occasional breakage will turn out to be an unacceptable problem. I do like their soft look, which you don't tend to find among the evergreens from colder areas. Suckering will work too, especially if it helps keep roaming deer and dogs out of my garden, though I'm not pinning any big hopes on that one.

Dave, I've also been meaning to go take a few snips of a particularly nice mature shrub down at the post office. I haven't identified it, but I figure that doesn't matter when I can see what it's grown into surrounded with concrete.

Lisa, pineapple guava and pittosporum are a couple of the more tender ones alluded to--both need special protection here and can still be lost in bad winters. Once my house is built, tho, I'm going to try to find a protected corner for the guava as it is lovely. It's doing well on a masonry wall at Vines Botanic Garden in South Gwinnett. Pittosporum is planted at every gas station and McDonald's in California, so I'm not so in love with it, handsome and serviceable though it is.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 4:54PM
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Linda_e(SW LA z8b)

Here in SW Louisiana, cherry laurels are quiet brittle and we've had trouble with big limbs splitting off with even a small bit of wind. And in an ice storm (yeah, we do get 'em once in a blue moon), they split all over the place.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2004 at 7:54PM
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EngiN117(7a GA)

I know I am here almost a year later responding to this thread, but I just recently found my new home (gardenweb). I have about 6 cypress trees separating my front yard from my neighbors and I love it. They are both tall and almost maintenance free. I have only lived at this home for about 9 months, but I really enjoy it. I will try to get some picks soon. As they have not completely grown together, there are still sections where you can see through, but only if you are right at the opening. Let me know how things have turned out and what you have discovered in the past 9 months as to this matter.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 11:34PM
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