Laurel plants

Asked April 16, 2018, 11:32 AM EDT

i pruned ( just the ends) plants at the end of march, my customer say i killed all of them and he want me to pay 700 for all his plants, how can i be sure those plants are died before. and how much is the cost for each plant , he said he want a proffessional do it. Thanks

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Cherry laurel is very tolerant of pruning, so a light pruning would not kill them.

First, be sure they are entirely dead. Many broad-leaved evergreens (with wide leaves) had a lot of winter burn and winter dieback after the very cold temperatures this winter but are not completely dead.

We had a very dry fall and winter. When evergreens go into winter with dry soil, they continue to lose water through their leaves but then cannot replace the water from the soil. This leads to winter burned leaves and dead branch tips.
Please look at the photos and read our page about winter damage:

Most winter damage does not kill plants, however. Plants recover quickly and look fine when the new leaves come out.
To be sure the cherry laurels are dead, scratch the bark further down and look for green, which means the branches are still alive. If it is white under the bark, then the branch is dead. If green, it should put out new growth. Be patient.

Some shrubs will regrow from the roots and quickly become nice shrubs again, even if they have died down to the roots, but cherry laurels should probably be replaced if they have a lot of dead branches.

Light pruning would not kill cherry laurels, and the owner should look for other reasons why his plants failed if they are, in fact, dead.