How to prune Mountain Laurel?

drayvenApril 27, 2010

I have two 20 foot tall Mountain Laurels that came with the house and I need to do some pruning now that they have flowered.

The problem is besides the obvious removing of dead branches or branches that rub against each other I don't really know the right way for this species and I can't find a guide on the internet.

For instance if I was going to prune a rose cane I'd prune back to a bud.

With some trees if you remove a branch you have to remove the entire branch down to where it meets a larger branch.

Crepe Myrtles are somewhere in between and many people just lop the tops off every year.

So how would I prune a Mountain Laurel?

Here is a link that might be useful:

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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

You can prune it anyway you want to and it will just bush out from the cut limbs. The reason I know this is because I have a large mountain laurel planted between the street and the sidewalk. I prune the sides of it with electric hedge shears a couple of times a year to keep the sidewalk clear. Where it's been pruned makes a wall of green down to the bottom of the tree, which in this instance I prefer to give some privacy from the street.

Here's a photo I just took. All you see is Mountain Laurel except for a little bit of the Cedar Elm tree at the upper left:

Be advised that the buds for next years flowers have already formed, at least they have on my trees. They are the scaley looking rat tail things sticking out from the tips of the foliage, so you will loose next years flowers where ever you prune them off, but if you want to change the height of shape of the tree you'll just have to bite the bullet and prune it now.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 9:35AM
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Thanks, That is exactly the info I was looking for.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:05PM
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I am so glad you asked this!!! I inherited two when I bought the house 3 years ago. They are on each side of the garage. One is doing nicely like a shrub, but getting much larger, it just bloomed. The other one's limbs are falling over, like it had a downpour on it, which it didn't. It looks very healthy but did not flower.

In any event, I'm going to follow the advice and prune them now that I know this is the right time. I'd rather the tree like mountain laurel than the bushy one.

Again, thanks for posting this.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:12AM
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