Pruning a 10 foot tall bay tree

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Ariadae, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Ariadae

    Ariadae Super Gardener

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    12B356A7-052A-4DAD-91DF-15F2570D9F31.jpeg i’ve wanted to prune this tree for years and never got around to it, but it’s cutting out a lot of light now. I’d really like it around 6feet but i’m Worried the shock might kill it. There are several “trunks” so I was thinking of cutting all but the main one, and then trying to reduce the branches. Advice please
     
  2. andrews

    andrews Gardener

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    I had a similar challenge with our bay tree a few weeks ago.

    I took out a lot of the additional trunks out, keeping an eye on the shape as I went along. Taking out some of the trunks can leave holes in the tree. I then took some length off the horizontal branches to balance the shape.

    I cant see it upsetting an established tree at this time of year but I do expect the tree to bush out from where I've cut the trunks back.
     
  3. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    You're right. :blue thumb: Cutting back an established tree should not be a problem. I do mine every few years but keep it higher as it is not in the way. I took 10ft off last year (it was 32ft high) and cut the sides back a lot. I think that was, maybe, a bit too much in one go.

    It certainly hasn't stunted its growth but it's throwing up suckers all around it. Not too much of a problem for us as we shall dig them out, pot them up and sell them for the charity.
     
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    • Loofah

      Loofah Well used member

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      Bay trees are indestructible, chop away!
       
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      • Redwing

        Redwing Wild Gardener

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        I’m wondering if I could plant one or two in gaps in my mixed hedge; seems like it might be a nice addition.
         
      • shiney

        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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        They tend to be fairly expensive in the shops :noidea: and I don't know how well they establish in a competitive situation. :scratch:
         
      • andrews

        andrews Gardener

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        We are slowly adding laurel to a 5 ft. tall mixed hedge which gives better cover than the bay would due to bigger, closer spaced leaves.
         
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        • Loofah

          Loofah Well used member

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          They're thugs so will be quite happy and if you know anyone with a large tree then finding saplings won't be a problem!
           
        • Redwing

          Redwing Wild Gardener

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          Last year in the wet summer, seedlings germinated beneath my tree. I potted a few up and they are doing well which is why I thought of filling some gaps in a hedge.
           
        • shiney

          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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          Me! Me! Me! :snorky:
           
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