Cherry Laurel – Not Growing As Expected

Q: We planted eight Carolina cherry laurels six years ago. They were supposed to grow but are still the same size as when they were planted. What may be the problem?

A: When shrubs or trees refuse to grow to their predicted height, I suspect poor root establishment. Maybe they were planted in undersized holes, maybe the soil surrounding is hard clay, etc.

You can try vertical mulching to jump start their growth. Buy a bulb auger and attach it to a drill. Starting a foot from each tree trunk, drill holes in the soil six inches deep. Twenty holes around each tree, scattered out to three feet from the trunk, should suffice. In a wheelbarrow, mix four pints of Milorganite fertilizer with two cubic feet of soil conditioner. Fill all of your holes with this mixture. The plants should respond with increased growth this spring.

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