When to Prune Skip Laurel? – Everything That You Must Know

Skip Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is a very popular evergreen shrub that is planted to enhance the beauty of the garden. Since they are shrubs and are planted to add a particular shape to the garden, it is vital that they do not vary in size.  

And that is why skip laurel needs pruning at certain times of the year. But a major issue for beginners is pruning skip laurels at the wrong time. Which instantly can spoil the beauty of your garden.

But don’t worry. This article is for those who want to learn more about pruning skip laurel plants. So let’s get started without further delay.

Why And When To Prune Skip Laurel?

Pruning depends mainly on the gardener’s goals, but there are also a few important factors. The skip laurel plant is an excellent addition to the garden. This beauty in the landscape depends on whether all the plants have the same size and shape.

Pruning is therefore required to keep skip laurels in desired shape and size. Due to weather conditions, the growth of plants is often not in the same shape. Other branches of the plant are damaged to provide nutrients to some unnecessary branches.

If unnecessary stems become excessive, all parts of the skill laurel do not get enough air and sunlight. Which can ultimately be their big health issue.

Also many times the dead branches of the plant contain various harmful insects or microorganisms which damage the whole plant. So you should prune skip laurel to help the plant grow fuller and remove unnecessary or dead branches.

Timing is very important for skip laurel pruning. Pruning at the wrong time is harmful to the plant. Late winter and early spring are ideal times. From the beginning of February to the beginning of March, you can carry out layoffs.  

Pruning skip laurel during this time will help frequent healthy growth and maintain the overall shape of the plant. It is also important to remember that pruning in the fall or during the growing season can cause damage to the plant.

6 Easy Steps For Pruning Skip Laurel Properly

1. Prepare Tools

To properly prune skip laurel, you will need several tools such as shears, loppers, a hand saw, gloves, an eye protector, and disinfectants. 

You should use pruning shears to cut branches and stems in the 1/2-inch diameter range. But for larger branches, I would suggest you use a pruning saw.

Eye injuries are common during large branch pruning, so eye protection goggles must be worn. Also, I would suggest wearing gloves to avoid the risk of hand cuts.

2. Cut Dead Or Injured Branches

Skip laurel plants are often affected by various diseases at the beginning of winter. Look for such infected or dead branches first during late winter pruning. Then cut it at a 45° angle using pruning shears.

3. Thin Out Overcrowded Branches

The most common problem I face with skip laurel in my garden is excessive branching.  Every year at the end of winter pruning time is more difficult to cut these overcrowded branches. If you also have the same problem, then I tell you not to cut the branches like a clumsy.

Take some time Note which side has more extra branches. Make a plan and carefully trim the branches accordingly. At this time it is very important to maintain the natural shape of the plant.

4. Control Size

The most important question when pruning skip laurel is how much pruning is needed!  Beginners are often confused about this.

If you prune skip laurel regularly, you can give the plants a shape to match your garden conditions. But if the pruning is irregular then the overgrown branches should be cut by one-third. Care should be taken to maintain the natural shape of the plant.

5. Optional Shaping

I can suggest you few formats for optional shaping. As you can give your plant a formal shape through regular pruning. To create a formal hedge, you have to trim the sides of the plant so they are straight and perpendicular to the ground. Then, trim the top of the hedge so it is level and flat.

You can also give your plant a topiary shape with a little careful trimming. This, however, is only applicable to young plants. Take a single-branched plant and cut off all the leaves except the top leaves. Then, shape the remaining leaves and stems into the desired form, using stakes or wireframes if necessary. However, it is difficult to maintain without regular pruning.

But the most beautiful to me is the plant form shaping.  You can do it very easily. First, remove the lower branches of the plant. Then shape the other branches to make them look like a tree. This form is ideal for a focal point in the garden or as a specimen plant.

6. Avoid cutting too much

Basically skip laurel is a slow-growing plant. So if you do a lot of pruning at once it can be stressful for the plant. Therefore, never prune more than one-third. Regular little pruning over time is ideal for skip laurel plants.


Q: What is the best time to prune Skip Laurel?

Ans: The best time to prune Skip Laurel is in late winter or early spring before the new growth starts. This will allow the plant to recover quickly and produce new growth in the spring.

Q: Can I prune Skip Laurel in the summer?

Ans: It is generally not recommended to prune Skip Laurel in the summer as this can cause stress to the plant during its active growth period. However, if necessary, you can prune lightly to remove damaged or diseased branches.

Q: How often should I prune Skip Laurel?

Ans: Skip Laurel does not require frequent pruning and can be pruned every 2-3 years to maintain its shape and size. Regular pruning is not necessary unless the plant has outgrown its space or has become overgrown.

Q: How much should I prune my Skip Laurel?

Ans: You can prune up to one-third of the plant’s overall size without causing damage. It is important to prune selectively and avoid cutting back into old wood as this can cause permanent damage.


Since skip laurels are planted as garden beautifiers, it is very important to maintain their shape. Many gardeners prune skip laurel branches as their own wish. That can cause serious plant health issues. Therefore, a proper method should be maintained for skip laurel pruning.

In this article, I have informed you about all aspects of skip laurel pruning. Hopefully, if you follow my guidelines, you can easily maintain the shape of your plants and enhance the beauty of your garden.

Happy Gardening.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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