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Plant Diseases/skip laurels

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Question
how best way to prune-plant seems not to grow in the center but sprews out  from middle to base of plant

Answer
Dear Leonard, Skip laurels and cherry laurels are basically the same thing, so I am very familiar with them as I have dozens of them in my back yard.  When the center trunk of the plant is pruned or damaged, then the plant will tend to grow more bushy than tall.  In order to grow the plant more as a tree than as a bush, you need to leave this central leader untouched.  When the central leader is cut, the plant will not gain much more in height, rather its foliage will now grow more outward.  For the most part, I prefer to leave these mostly unpruned.  I keep them as a screen near my neighbors and leave them untouched.  If I wanted them to be more bushy, then I would cut them back in height and then generally leave them alone.  I would only prune out dead foliage, or if you need to make the plant more open to allow the air to circulate better.  Otherwise, I would let these grow relatively carefree since they usually don't require much other maintenance.  I hope this information helps you.  Please write back if you have more questions.  Melissa

Plant Diseases

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Melissa Johnston

Expertise

Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.

Experience

35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Organizations
Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

Publications
none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Education/Credentials
Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of Allexperts.com and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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