When is it best to prune a laurel hedge?

Asked July 31, 2013, 8:41 PM EDT

When is the best time of year to prune a laurel hedge? It needs to be cut back quite a bit (is coming out too far into the yard, and is also too tall). But it is the shield between me and the neighbors, so I don't want it to stay bare too long. Should it be done in winter? Thanks for your help.

Multnomah County Oregon trees and shrubs pruning

1 Response

Laurals tolerate heavy pruming quite well. But if you're contemplating cutting it way back it's best to know what type of Laural you have. Sweetbay, Mountain and California Laurals grow rather slowly so they will take more time to recover. English and Grecian Laurals will grow back faster. They all bloom in mid to late spring so severe pruning should be timed for after the flowers are spent, but before they have set seed. This gives the bush ample time to rejuvinate and establish new buds. Be sure to sanitize you tools before, during, and after you prune. I use rubbing alcohol straight out of the bottle. A little spay bottle works very well. Refer to the following link for more information;
www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/shrubs/.../pruning