Laurels May Be Hardy, But Beware of Problems By Gil Medeiros, former Fairfax Master Gardener Laurels have become very popular landscape plants in Northern Virginia. It came to America with the early settlers, who knew a useful plant when they saw one, but before that it … English laurel is often grown as a hedge, because it tolerates even severe pruning. Audrey Lynn has been a journalist and writer since 1974. Large evergreen shrub has dense, erect branches and rich green leaves. 1 Review Add Your Review. It is not related to the true laurel, or Laurus nobilis. Very hardy Cherry Laurel. It is a quick-growing, evergreen, wide-spreading shrub that can grow up to 18ft (6 metres) in height. Spray re-growth and seedlings with triclopyr or glyphosate diluted according to the product label for controlling brush. Laurels May Be Hardy, But Beware of Problems By Gil Medeiros, former Fairfax Master Gardener Laurels have become very popular landscape plants in Northern Virginia. English laurel likes moist, well-drained and richly organic soil and grows best in full sun to partial shade. The species has also escaped into the wild in a few places in California. See below Description. She edited a weekly home-and-garden tabloid for her hometown newspaper and has regularly contributed to weekly and daily newspapers, as well as "Law and Order" magazine. Evergreen. Read the product label carefully for rate, timing and safety precautions. Wood. Skip Laurel will produce white flower spikes in the spring that are fragrant. The Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), also called English laurel, grows naturally around the Black Sea, as well as in Turkey and in Iran. Skip laurel – Prunus laurocerasus ‘Schipkaensis’ – is a hardy, dense-growing evergreen shrub commonly used for hedges and as cut greenery in floral arrangements. It requires full sun and grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11. Although it is legal to sell and grow it in Washington, English laurel is classified as a Weed of Concern in King County and its control is recommended in natural areas that are being restored to native vegetation and in protected forest lands. Cherry Laurel or English Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Mature Height/Spread: This evergreen, broadleaf shrub can grow to 20 feet but is generally kept smaller in the home landscape. Tiny flowers have sweet fragrance. Full to partial sun. English Laurel. English Laurel Hedge With rich evergreen foliage throughout the year and dense branches, English laurel or Prunus Laurocerasus is a popular hedge for those wanting a lush evergreen privacy screen. It has large, thick glossy leaves that are evergreen, so it … Also known as Common Laurel and English Laurel. Portugal Laurel has a dark green leaf that is much smaller than the leaf of Cherry Laurel. English laurel is also poisonous. Birds like the black berry fruits that appear after flower blooms. Cherry Laurel or English Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Mature Height/Spread: This evergreen, broadleaf shrub can grow to 20 feet but is generally kept smaller in the home landscape. Laurel water, a distillation made from the plant, contains prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide) and other compounds and is toxic. It tends to gum up blades while cutting. Be the first to review this product. Collected plants have varied from immature plants to flowering or fruiting trees. Dwarf English Laurels or Cherry Laurels (Prunus laurocerasus) can be great plants to use for foundation plantings and backdrops. We are also gathering information on effective control methods. Although both are commonly called laurels, English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) and laurelwood (Calophyllum inophyllum) have completely different botanical family trees. In spring, it produces fragrant white racemes of flowers up to 4 inches long, followed by small, black berries. To avoid regrowth, stumps should be turned upside down and soil should be brushed off roots. These shrubs are related to peach, plum, and other stone fruits. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. Prunus laurocerasus. In some parts of the country Cherry Laurel is called English Laurel, so when buying it look for it by its scientific name – Prunus laurocerasus – and you can’t go wrong. Rating: 100 % of 100. SKU. Prunus Laurocerasus Rotundifolia is known by a number of different names which include: Cherry Laurel, Common Laurel, English Laurel, European Cherry Laurel, Laurier-armande, Cherry-bay and Versailles Laurel. A smaller form of cherry laurel, tends to be wider than high; produces showy, fragrant, erect white spike flowers, black fruit and glossy dark-green leaves; makes a stunning hedge or accent plant, takes pruning very well. Above: Cherry laurel has white flowering spikes in spring. There is another type of plant that is also referred to as “laurel.” This is Prunus laurocerasus of the family Rosaceae (rose family). Prunus laurocerasus, also known as the English laurel in North America, is a small tree or shrub native to southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia. Applying mulch to the area will reduce seedling growth. Prunus laurocerasus is the original species of Common Laurel. Mature laurel trees have deep and extensive roots so digging is labor-intensive and may result in considerable soil disturbance. Portugal Laurel has a dark green leaf that is much smaller than the leaf of Cherry Laurel. Housman’s poem, To an Athlete Dying Young: “And early though the laurel grows, It withers quicker than the rose.” Despite the brief flowering season, Prunus laurocerasus is not a shrub to underestimate. Laurelwood produces creamy white flowers from late spring through summer that are followed by marble-sized white berries. Cherry Laurels: A Field Guide. English, or cherry, laurel is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae), while laurelwood, or Alexandrian laurel, is a member of the Guttiferae family. 6717. The plant grows to about 20 feet tall but is often pruned to a more manageable, shrub-like size and shape for specimen plants and hedges. long or 15 cm). For more information see Noxious weed lists and laws or visit the website of the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. Tiny flowers have sweet fragrance. Prunus laurocerasus (English Laurel) is a vigorous, broad, spreading evergreen shrub with dense, erect branches clothed in handsome, lustrous, dark green leaves (6 in. It is medium-fast growing although not quite as quick growing as Cherry Laurel. Cherry laurel wood contains a lot of water. If the stumps are dug up, be sure to stabilize the area to prevent erosion and replant with appropriate trees and shrubs, especially on steep slopes. This plant blooms in the spring. Schipka Cherry Laurel or simply Skip Laurel is a great evergreen shrub to use to form a hedge in your landscape. Herbicides may not be allowable in all locations, so contact your local jurisdiction about permitting requirements or restrictions. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. An introduction to how Laurel can be used to create a beautiful hedge. How Do I Calculate Home Value to Loan Ratio? Large evergreen shrub has dense, erect branches and rich green leaves. English laurel is on the monitor list of the Washington State Noxious Weed List. Glendurgan’s maze at Glendurgan National Trust Garden in Cornwall is made completely from Cherry Laurel. They are technically in the Prunus genus and they are not “true” laurels at all! It grows 8 to 10 feet tall. The fruit is not edible. New plantings are discouraged especially where it could impact forest lands. For large infestations or steep slopes, digging may not be the best method. Glendurgan’s maze at Glendurgan National Trust Garden in Cornwall is made completely from Cherry Laurel. Cherry laurel definition, a rosaceous evergreen shrub or small tree, Prunus laurocerasus, of Eurasia, having clusters of white flowers and dark purple fruit. Cherry Laurel is an evergreen shrub or small tree that grows up to 20' tall and is dense and wide-spreading. Cherry laurels bloom in spring and an easy way to remember the habits of this evergreen flowering shrub is to memorize the line from A.E. Native to southwestern Asia and southeastern Europe, this species has been widely introduced in Europe and North America, and has escaped cultivation in many areas, including the Pacific Northwest. SKU. Rich of a strong plum fragrance, a profusion of tiny, creamy-white flowers held in upright racemes, 5 in. Ornamental Features. Some older plants won't re-sprout very much, but left alone, all English laurel will re-grow to some extent. Types of Laurel Hedging Cherry Laurel – Prunus laurocerasus. The leaves are oval or elliptical and somewhat thick and leathery. Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Also known as the English Laurel, this is a hardy laurel that is very popular in the southern part of the United States. Prunus laurocerasus. A smaller form of cherry laurel, tends to be wider than high; produces showy, fragrant, erect white spike flowers, black fruit and glossy dark-green leaves; makes a stunning hedge or accent plant, takes pruning very well. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. 1 Review Add Your Review. If you have had any success (or failures) controlling this plant, please contact our office. Monitor stems for re-growth and break off any new stems. The wild tree is usually a large shrub, but it can grow into a tall tree, even rarely over 50 feet tall. Attracts Butterflies. Its glossy, evergreen leaves are smaller than English laurel's. This may be why they are often called “Cherry laurels” –cherries and plums are also Prunus species. Different from the English laurel, (Prunus laurocerasus), often also called ‘cherry laurel’, both these plants are surprise relatives of cherry, peach, and apricot trees. Photograph by Sebastian Rittau via Flickr.. One thing to know about Prunus laurocerasus (which emits the pleasing fragrance of almonds when its leaves are crushed), is that it contains hydrogen cyanide, a poison.If ingested in large amounts, hydrogen cyanide can deplete the nervous system of oxygen and, in rare cases, even cause death. Although both are commonly called laurels, English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) and laurelwood (Calophyllum inophyllum) have completely different botanical family trees. Attracts Hummingbirds. As it is a fast-growing shrub, English cherry laurel makes an excellent choice for a taller privacy hedge or border. It has a dense habit, spreading twice as high as it is high. Small white flowers in the spring, followed by glossy red cherries that eventually turn black. I am referring to Cherry Laurels (of which the Otto Luyken cultivar is heavily used) and Skip Laurels. It is densely branched with broad evergreen leaves and prefers dappled light. Prunus caroliniana, known as the Carolina laurelcherry, Carolina cherry laurel, cherry laurel, or Carolina cherry, is a small evergreen flowering tree native to the lowlands of Southeastern United States, from North Carolina south to Florida and westward to central Texas. Very fast-growing and tolerant of disturbance and a wide range of conditions, English laurel is a strong competitor and thrives in our climate. As stated above, make sure to follow all local, state and federal rules regarding herbicide use at your site. There are five main options for controlling the re-growth after cutting: Dig out the stumps including as much root as possible. long or 15 cm). Many of the newer varieties, in particular Rotundifolia are now much more widely grown for hedging as they are more upright and… Cherry Laurel is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. This cultivar is named for a location ("-ensis" is a suffix added to a place, meaning "from" that place), the Schipka pass in the mountains separating India from Nepal. These methods can be used on large stems that have not been cut down, although it may be easier to first cut off smaller side stems and foliage to access the main trunk. Cherry Laurel is an evergreen shrub or small tree that grows up to 20' tall and is dense and wide-spreading. Leaves are from 2 to 6 inches long and half as wide, and have tiny serrations on the margins. Also, monitor the area for seedlings and pull them up. Because it is spread by birds to remote areas, it has the potential to be a serious threat to native forest land in the Puget Sound region. Laurel or sweet bay (Laurus nobilis) and mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) are briefly mentioned. It has a dense habit, spreading twice as high as it is high. It is important to stress that English laurel is produced and sold in Washington and Oregon and there are no regulations or limits on its sale or use in landscaping. English Laurel. The plant thrives in USDA zones 6 through 9. Water weekly first year (2x per month after) Cold Hardiness. Also called schipka, schip and cherry laurel, skip laurel’s foliage and appearance are very similar to bay laurel (Laurus nobilis). Stalks of fragrant white flowers appear in profusion in spring. The Centre Court Cherry Laurel is a selected, improved form of the Carolina cherry laurel, Prunus caroliniana. However, if you know of any heavily infested forests, especially outside of the urban growth area, we would be interested in having that information. English laurel is often found with a mix of native and non-native species. After cutting, plants are very likely to re-grow. A popular choice for clipped hedges, group plantings or screens. They are also a … Ornamental Features. A popular choice for clipped hedges, group plantings or screens. Here in Washington, English laurel is most common west of the Cascades. The white five-petalled flowers form a loose cluster and have a pleasant fragrance. A Hambidge Fellow, Lynn studied English at Columbus State University. In trade, it is often observed as 'Skipensis' and pronounced as Skip Cherry Laurel. Prunus Laurocerasus Rotundifolia is known by a number of different names which include: Cherry Laurel, Common Laurel, English Laurel, European Cherry Laurel, Laurier-armande, Cherry-bay and Versailles Laurel. Prunus laurocerasus (English Laurel) is a vigorous, broad, spreading evergreen shrub with dense, erect branches clothed in handsome, lustrous, dark green leaves (6 in. Tolerant of salt spray. Glossy foliage on a dense, vase-shaped form displaying a layered effect. In some cases, the English laurel was growing as a single tree or in small, patchy populations, but in other cases, there were substantial populations noted that included a range of ages from seedlings to fruiting trees. This plant blooms in the spring. For more information see No… English laurel has escaped cultivation into forests and parks adjacent to developed areas and occasionally into more remote forests. The stems of Portugal Laurel are red when young and this contrasts well with the dark green leaves. According to the University of Washington Herbarium records, botanists have collected specimens of English laurel from naturalized populations in 7 western Washington counties, mostly around the Puget Sound area. Variations on the cut stump method that also work are frilling (chipping notches around the trunk and applying herbicide to the fresh cuts) or injecting herbicide into the trunk (this may require special injection tools). The stems of Portugal Laurel are red when young and this contrasts well with the dark green leaves. See below Description. Tolerant of salt spray. long (12 cm), are on display in mid-late summer. According to a 2006 report on Seattle's urban forests, English laurel was the second most common invasive tree species, found on 67% of study plots with an average of 46 stems/acre (English holly was the most common invasive tree found in this study). Light Requirements. Program offices are located at 201 S. Jackson St., Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104. Cherry laurels bloom in spring and an easy way to remember the habits of this evergreen flowering shrub is to memorize the line from A.E. English Laurel; Phonetic Spelling PROO-nus law-roh-ser-AY-sus This plant has high severity poison characteristics. As a member of the Prunus genus, the benefits of attaining a Portuguese Laurel hedge are plentiful. English Laurel. Most King County offices will be closed on January 1, for New Year's Day. Botanical Name. This is the species of Common Laurel (aka Cherry Laurel, English Laurel) from which most of the other varieties have been developed. Zone 6 (0 to -10 degrees F) Fragrant. English laurel, also called cherry laurel, is a large evergreen shrub or small tree often used for landscaping, usually as a hedge. A handsome low hedge for filtered shade! The cherry laurels of the genus Prunus will be discussed in detail. Impacts of English laurel include out-competing native forest species such as tree seedlings and native shrubs and replacing native canopy trees over time. The Difference Between Self-Pollination & Cross-Pollination, Washington State University Extension: Cherry Laurel -- Prunus Laurocerasus, Stanford University: Encyclopedia of Stanford Trees, Shrubs and Vines -- Prunus Laurocerasus, National Tropical Botanic Garden: Calophyllum Inophyllum, USDA Plants Database: Calophyllum Inophyllum. Laurel or sweet bay (Laurus nobilis) and mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) are briefly mentioned. Because English laurel is already naturalized in many places in King County and is not on the State Noxious Weed List, we are not tracking locations. Full to partial sun. Laurel Hedges are a unique group of plants, and they are particularly well-suited to hedging. New plantings are discouraged especially where it could impact forest lands. long (12 cm), are on display in mid-late summer. See more. Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Also known as the English Laurel, this is a hardy laurel that is very popular in the southern part of the United States. Become a certified small business contractor or supplier, Find certified small business contractors and suppliers, Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board, University of Washington Herbarium records, E-Flora BC - Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia, Invasive Species Ireland - Best Practices Management Guideline, Citywide Habitat Assessment, Interim Report, March 2006, Seattle Urban Nature Project, Evergreen leaves are dark green on top and pale underneath, thick, shiny, large (3 to 8 inches long), oblong, abruptly pointed at the tips, alternate on the stems, and have finely toothed edges and short leaf stalks, Small white flowers in upright clusters (racemes) resemble cherry flowers, cup-shaped with 5 petals and fragrant, many yellow stamens, Produces small, purplish-black, cone-shaped, cherry-type fruits, also in clusters, Poisonous parts include wilted leaves, stems, and seeds (may be fatal if eaten), Reproduces through seeds, which are distributed by birds and possibly other animals, Also spreads laterally by layering (growing roots from stems where they touch the ground), When cut, English laurel will sucker from the roots and re-sprout from cut stems, Grows in sun or shade, moist or dry soils, but does best in moist, well-drained soils. Schipka Cherry Laurel. This plant is commonly found in urban forests in King County, Washington and can also be found escaping into more remote areas, usually spread by yard waste dumping or by birds eating the plant's cherry-like fruits (which are not palatable to people, and can be poisonous). Although it is legal to sell and grow it in Washington, English laurel is classified as a Weed of Concern in King County and its control is recommended in natural areas that are being restored to native vegetation and in protected forest lands. 6705. Russian Laurel: Skip: Cherry Laurel: English Laurel: Common Laurel: General Plant Information ; Plant Habit: Shrub Tree: Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade: Water Preferences: Mesic: Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0) Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5) Minimum cold hardiness: The plants also have different characteristics and growth requirements. Related to cherry trees, English laurel gets its common name from its resemblance to the true laurel tree. English laurel is on the monitor list of the Washington State Noxious Weed List. This plant is tolerant of alkaline soils, dry and poor soils, pollution and heavy pruning. WaterWise. It is medium-fast growing although not quite as quick growing as Cherry Laurel. Leaving stems on moist ground might result in some stem-rooting, but it is unlikely, and if stems are chipped this shouldn't be a problem. According to the USDA Plants Database distribution map, English laurel is reported as naturalized in Washington, British Columbia, Oregon, and California. To control larger plants, cut stems and trunks by hand or chainsaw, cutting as close to the ground as possible, and remove stems to make it easier to control re-growth. The cherry laurels of the genus Prunus will be discussed in detail. An evergreen species of cherry native to regions bordering the Black Sea in southwestern Asia and South Eastern Europe. Prunus laurocerasus. Rich of a strong plum fragrance, a profusion of tiny, creamy-white flowers held in upright racemes, 5 in. In the wild, laurelwood inhabits sandy beaches but can also grow in sandy soils inland. The contrasting stem and leaf colour of Portuguese Laurel creates an impressive visual effect and its ability to thrive in difficult conditions makes it a preferred alternative than the popular Cherry Laurel. Rating: 100 % of 100. Immediately after cutting, treat stump by painting or spraying with glyphosate or triclopyr. Prunus laurocerasus 'Schipkaensis' SKU. Bloom Color Family. The Carolina Cherry Laurel is found growing wild in the south-east, from North Carolina to Florida, and into Texas. I am referring to Cherry Laurels (of which the Otto Luyken cultivar is heavily used) and Skip Laurels. It tends to split and distort while drying. Stems can be chipped and used as mulch or taken to a landfill. To contact staff, see the Noxious Weed Control Program Directory, send an email, or call 206-477-WEED (206-477-9333). White. These shrubs are related to peach, plum, and other stone fruits. In King County, English laurel is most commonly found invading urban parks and forests, especially in the Seattle area, but escaped populations can be found throughout the county. English laurel's waxy, dark green foliage remains green all year long. Cherry Laurel is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. The plants barely reach heights of more than 18 metres (59 feet), and they bear simple glossy leaves that are arranged alternately along the stem. Make sure to use an appropriate surfactant and follow the label recommendations on timing and safety precautions. 6705. They are easy to spot with their thick, shiny leaves pointed at the tips. Full sun (6+ hours direct sun) Moisture Requirements. 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