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A Light Prune

Category: Garden Highlights | Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:18 pm

Early summer: time to prune the bay tree.

My bay tree has, for the last dozen years, supplied us with wonderfully flavoured leaves for cooking, all year round. It was quite big when we moved into the house, but now it is far too big...

I've reduced the height at least twice in previous years, but looking at it yesterday, I could see that it was yet again about twenty feet, with ambitions of being much higher, and eight foot across at ground level. I had the choice of either reducing it to a reachable height yet again, or buying a longer ladder.

Instead, I consulted the Internet, and found that some people had successfully pruned bay trees off at ground level, and they still grew back! I didn't go quite that far, but I did cut it back to a skeleton. (I also put a handful of carefully chosen leaves in a polythene bag in the freezer).

Pruned bay tree ( photo / image / picture from OrangeKing's Garden )

The main trunks are still about chest high, but when (if?) it grows again the intention is to keep it no more than head height, and no more than four foot across. I'll post news on it as it develops.

Meanwhile, I have a large pile of brushwood and a shredder to deal with. Smells great, though!

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eileen wrote on Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:04 pm:

A nice bit of coppicing there OrangeKing. I hope the bay tree recovers and that you'll be able to keep it to the height you want it to be.

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