Cherry Laurel ‘Caucasica’, Laurel Tree – Prunus laurocerasus ‘Caucasica’
Prunus laurocerasus ‘Caucasica’ is a cultivar of the popular Prunus laurocerasus (Common Laurel, English Laurel).
Considered tougher than the Common Laurel, its ovate leaves are narrower and a darker shade of green too. The combination of smaller leaves and compact habit produces a plant with a more structured feel and therefore more suited to being planted as a formal hedge or screen where space is at a premium. Quite capable of reaching heights of 3-5m it has a more upright habit when young, but as it matures it spreads to develop crowns that are as wide as they are tall. In spring the plant produces small fragrant white flowers typical of this species. Shortly afterwards, small red berries appear which slowly ripen over summer to form into black cherry like fruits. Bees enjoy the blossom while birds enjoy the fruits but note, the plant and berries are toxic to humans so not fit for consumption.
A fast-growing evergreen shrub the ‘Caucasica’ will easily grow 30-60cm in one season with little encouragement. Like the Common Laurel, this plant tolerates shade extremely well and can be seen thriving in gardens throughout the UK under the canopies of large trees. An extremely hardy plant it can be coppiced to ground level and it return full of vigor.
As is common with most Laurel varieties, the Caucasica produces dense opaque screens which are ideal for blocking out traffic noise and prying eyes. It prefers to be pruned any time from May to mid-August to give the new growth a chance to harden before being subject to cold temperatures and the first frost. Pruning is best done with a combination of secateurs or loppers on more mature growth and shears on newer growth. Although the leaves are smaller than those found on the Common Laurel, electric and petrol hedge cutters tend to tear the large leaves and make for a rather unsightly finish – not considered too much of a problem for some as fresh foliage quickly cover damaged leaves.
It will tolerate all soil conditions including wet and dry soil but can take time to get going in chalk. When planting add well-rotted compost first as the plant will benefit. Tolerant of paving and hard landscaping, with a relatively shallow root system it should not be covered completely. The plant does well in tree containers and large pots, large and medium sized gardens and industrial areas.
Available as multi stem trees, hedge plants, instant hedge elements, specimen solitaire pieces, Hi pleached trees, screens and low pleached trees. A popular plant available in containers and pots while stocks last.
Planting advice for Pleached trees, Freshly Pleached trees, Espalier trees and Freshly Espaliered trees.
An important consideration when planting pleached or espalier trees in a straight line is the slope of the ground. Pleached or Espalier trees look their best when they are planted on flat or gently sloping ground. Doing so will line up the frames and stems and creating effect of one continuous line when viewed at all angles. Even on a gradual slope this effect can be achieved. However, with a slope of more than 10-12 degrees, it may be necessary to step the trees/frames when planting (the frames on freshly pleached trees can be manipulated to account for a sharper slope of perhaps 15 degree if necessary).
To create a good visual effect, it is important to line up the stems and frames (unless you are planting them in a circle or semi-circle). To start off the planting holes should measure roughly double the width of the rootball or pot….
How are Pleached Trees made?
Pleached trees or screen trees start life as a seedling or cutting, much like any other tree, being repotted or replanted a number of times in their formative years. They grow happily on the nursery with hundreds or even thousands of other trees. When the time is right, highly skilled nurserymen and woman go out into the field amongst the trees with tags in hand and pick the very best trees for pleaching. The criteria for choosing the best trees for training includes, selecting those with the straightest stems, healthy root stock and appropriately spreading and uninform crowns. Once tagged and lifted the trees are loaded onto trailers and sent to potting sheds for training. Read our full guide to pleaching trees here
Delivery varies depending on:
- How many trees you require
- If you want us to plant them
- Accessibility of the site
- If any need sourcing
- The seasonal ability to lift or plant specific species
Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.
We Have Many More Pleached Species Available
Read more about pleached trees or click on a particular species below.