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In november I planted around 65 meters of cherry laurel (Novita). I would like them to grow higher and more dense, as quickly as possible. As winter is ending, they are producing a lot of clusters of flower buds. Will it help the plants to grow more, if I remove the flower buds now, before they start blooming?

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  • Did you prune them when you planted last November? Were the plants in pots? – Bamboo Mar 18 '20 at 16:24
  • I did not prune them. They were not in pots but with root ball. – Kenned Mar 18 '20 at 22:37
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The plants should have been pruned back by half when you planted them. As you did not do this, I suggest you do it now; the purpose is to encourage plenty of shoots from the base in order to achieve a dense, thick hedge down to ground level, rather than ending up with gaps and bare areas between plants at the base as time goes on. These are fairly rapid growing plants, so they will soon make up the growth you remove. Next year, trim over lightly four times during the growing season to ensure continued density.

If you prefer a less formal hedge and you don't mind gaps at the base, then just take off about a quarter to a third of the top growth now (which should remove most of the flowers), and clip over lightly later on in the year. With Prunus laurocerasus, because the leaves are large, it's recommended to use secateurs rather than shears or a hedge trimmer so you don't finish up with leaves cut it half.

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