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Bay tree advice needed please

(7 Posts)
pixiestix Tue 07-Jun-11 09:19:35

I have a bay tree taking over my garden at an alarming rate and I need some advice on what to do with it. It really needs cutting back but I am completely clueless and I want to make sure that I don't kill it! Is there a particular way to prune it to make sure I don't kill it stone dead?

Also, does anyone know of anything exciting to do with 9 million bay leaves? One in a pot of spuds every couple of days isn't making much of a dent!

Any tips or hints gratefully received!

Mytholmroyd Tue 07-Jun-11 21:50:10

we just prune our bay trees into nice box shapes quite ruthlessly - I think they lend themselves to topiary rather well (think of the nice "lollipop" ones you get outside fancy restaurants) and I doubt you could kill it by pruning it. Get the shears out!

I put them in lots of things - even rice puddings!

pixiestix Wed 08-Jun-11 08:27:32

Great, I might just start hacking away then! I hadn't even thought of doing a bit of garden "art" in the process - I wonder what exciting shapes I can come up with grin

VampiresReflection Wed 08-Jun-11 08:30:50

You can dry the leaves in a low oven and sell them. I get tonnes off my tree and give them away in mesh bags to friends and neighbours. They also keep away midges if thrown on at the end of a BBQ.

girlscout Wed 08-Jun-11 08:52:40

Bays seem to be pretty robust. After all the heavy,heavy snow 6 months ago all the leaves of my 5 foot bay turned brown and dry and looked very dead, considered cutting it down. Over the last6 weeks ,lots of fresh growth and obviously it will develope a completely new shape.
i use the dried leaves added to pot pouri bags and kept in drawers. (old lady that i am!)

oldenoughtowearpurple Wed 08-Jun-11 08:57:10

Bay trees are virtually indestructable and if happy will grow to the size of Giant Redwoods while you are having a quick snooze in the garden. Also one bay tree will provide all the Bay Leaf Needs for a small town. You can hack it back ruthlessly but it will just keep coming back a little bit bigger every time.

If it's in the ground consider getting it out now and putting it in a big pot which will restrict its growth a bit. It does make very lovely topiary.

pixiestix Wed 08-Jun-11 10:08:56

grin It is a bit of a behemoth Purple - well over 6 ft by now and nearly as wide.

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