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Q.Should I Leave Numerous Dead Laurel Leaves Under My 7 Ft Hedge?

Zone South Norfolk | Anonymous added on September 18, 2021 | Answered

We live in South Norfolk, a very dry area. When we moved into our new house five years ago, we had to create a garden out of a building site. Planting a hedge of 50 sizeable laurels was challenging and, for each shrub, mainly involved removing half a barrow load of debris and infilling the resultant hole with topsoil. We were lucky that planting coincided with an unusually wet autumn/early winter, enabling the laurels to become established. Five years on, it is now a good looking and dense 7ft hedge but I worry every summer about the number of dead leaves underneath it. Outwardly the hedge looks fine, apart from the occasional yellow or brown leave, but I’m very conscious of the leaf carpet underneath. Should I remove them regularly so that, on the rare occasions we get meaningful rain, some moisture can work its way through the dense canopy and down to the roots? Should I even worry about the leaf loss, bearing in mind that they come from those parts of the hedge I can’t even see?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 1, 2021

Unfortunately, without photos I am unable to say much about the situation. Unless they are falling due to disease, they probably aren't doing much harm. If these are diseased, then removing the leaf litter will help prevent further spread.

For now, I will include some articles that will help you with the care of the shrubs:


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