We have a fairly large (and old) bay tree in our garden by our garage, which I pruned back quite a ways last year (about ~1foot off all sides) as it had grown too large. The hope being that it would sprout back happily this year, which it has started too.
Unfortunately we recently had a fire in the garage (tumble dryer went up in flames, nobody hurt though!), the heat and flames from which have caused severe damage to one side of the tree as can be seen in the pictures below:
(click to enlarge pictures below):
I'm wondering what the best course of action is to try and help the tree recover.
As I say, I'd pruned it quite far back last year. There wasn't much foliage, so the fire has pretty much destroyed all the leaves on that side.
Should I just leave it and hope that it grows back? Should I prune off the dead leaves? If so, how far back would you recommend going?
Extra details as requested:
I'm in the UK, so currently its the middle of spring (May 22nd the fire happened). We live in Leeds (53.8 degree latitude) where it is typically a mixture of cool drizzly weather, and the occasional warm (23 *C) sunny day. Although we've been having a lot of sunny days over the last couple of weeks, so having to do a lot of watering.
The burnt side of the plant is the westward wide (the picture is taken facing the north-east).
The house is pretty near a very old sand-stone quarry, so the soil is full of sand. We have from time to time mixed in compost from our own heap (composted leaves, grass, and vegetable matter).
I know a little about pruning, but would definitely class myself as an amateur. I know the best way to prune varies from plant to plant.
I'll add a photo of the base and inside of the bay shortly. The base is quite a large trunk with some terracotta tiles around it, originally to stop gravel from washing away, but now just decorative.