PRUNING AND TRAINING OF BAY LEAF

  • Pruning and training depends on whether you have trained the bay as a topiary or are simply growing it as a shrub in the ground.
  • Topiary-trained bay are trimmed with secateurs during summer to encourage a dense habit and to maintain a balanced shape. Prune new shoots to a bud facing in the direction of the desired growth
  • Shrubs can be trimmed into shape by simply cutting back to a lower leaf or bud in spring or summer. See shrubs and trees: light pruning for more advice
  • Remove any leaf tips damaged by winter weather by lightly pruning in late spring
  • Mature bay trees can tolerate hard pruning, but are slow to recover and re-grow. This would be best carried out over two or three seasons in late spring

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