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Bay Tree Growing Guide

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What is Bay Tree?

The Bay Tree (Laurus nobilis) also known as the Bay Laurel or Laurel is as upright, hardy evergreen tree. It is part of the Lauraceae family and is native to the Mediterranean. The Bay Tree is well known for its leaves which are often used in cooking. The leaves are dark green, glossy, aromatic and oval in shape. The leaves may be harvested at any time, but the flavour and fragrance is strongest before blooming. Bay Trees are slow growing and has a dense habit. In Spring clusters of star shaped yellow flowers appear. This will then mature into purple berries. Bay Tree prefer a full sun to part shade position in the garden that has well draining soil. They are drought, frost and salt tolerant.

Benefits of Growing Bay Tree

Bay Tree are easy to grow and are very low maintenance. It requires minimal water once established. Bay Trees are ideal for feature planting, hedging, kitchen garden and suitable for large pots. They are also perfect for small borders and hedges, and can easily be clipped into shape so it can be used as an edible topiary. The fragrant leaves are used to give a rich flavour to soups, stocks and stews. Bay leaves can be picked any time of the year and used fresh from the tree or dried depending on the type of dish.

How to Grow Bay Tree

Bay Tree 16 - Garden Express Australia

Bay Tree

Climatic Zones

Cool to mild tropical.

Plant Size

Height: 7m, Width: 5m

When To Plant Bay Tree

Plant anytime.

Soil Preparation

They like moist soils with plenty of humus. Dig through well broken down compost or animal manure before planting.

How To Plant Bay Tree

Plant in full sun or part shade, with the plant crown at soil level.

Bay Tree Plant Care

Water moderately, Bay Trees do not like wet feet nor do they like to dry out. Bay roots are very shallow, and frequent watering may be necessary during dry spells.

As a slow grower the Bay Tree does not need a lot of fertilising. A layer of compost or a slow release fertiliser would be beneficial.

Report every 3 to 4 years to reinvigorate the soil. Be careful of the root system when doing this.

Lightly trim in Summer to keep them in shape.

Remove any suckers that may appear.