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I have 2 bay trees damaged by the cold winter. The first is a 'lollipop', all but two of the leaves are brown and brittle but is producing shoots at the base. The second is a cone shape and some of the centre leaves are still green. What do I do with them?!



These should have produced new shoots by now. Then the old leaves will fall. Nip out the ends to encourage bushiness or to re-train to the desired shape. The lollipop may have to be totally re-trained from one strong shoot from the base. Cut off the old dead stem (if it doesn't re-sprout at all) and choose the best new shoot. Remove all the others and train the chosen one to a stick. When it gets to the height that you want the head to be, pinch out the top and start to train the head. Remove all side shoots that grow from the main stem but leave the leaves on to help feed the plant. This may take a couple of years to get back to a lollipop. After this, trim the head to shape in March BEFORE the new growth starts. That way it will fill in the shape required rather than just keep getting bigger and be gappy. Hope that all makes sense!

2 Jul, 2010

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