The Q&A Archives: english laurels

Question: we have a long row of english laurels next to drive way. about 6 of them on the end are not growing at all. they have new leaves but no growth. they do not get as much sun as the other laurels so im thinking this may be the problem but not sure. also, theres a big maple which may take all the nutrients and block the sun. or maybe the soil is bad? we had the soil tested and they suggested 40-0-0 in the spring time. we planted these for a tall hedge so we need your advise. tks.

Answer: You are probably right on both counts, shade and tree roots both will slow growth. There might also be some salt washing onto the soil from the road? Maple trees are notoriously difficult to garden beneath due to their greedy roots and dense canopy. And any time a long row of plants is planted in different growing conditions from one end to the other you will see a noticeable difference in the line of plants. Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do about it. Even if you fertilize with extra nitrogen to compensate, the maple roots will just grow that much faster, too. You might consider using a decorative fence at that end, starting it about where the hedge plants seem to deteriorate. That way it would look symmetrical. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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