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Without pruning, Etna grows about as wide as it is tall and is therefore well suited for planting under other plants. However, the vigorous growth of this laurel cherry can quickly lead to other plants being smothered or crowded out. Therefore, make sure from the start that the wood does not take up more space than you would like to allow it by cutting back in a targeted manner.

The cutting time

When you cut the Etna laurel cherry depends on whether you want to cut the wood once or twice a year. The best time for pruning is spring, right after flowering. A second pruning can then be done in late summer or early fall.

In principle, Etna can be cut back all year round. Only when temperatures are below zero and at the beginning of the growth period should you not use scissors. Since etna is poisonous in all parts of the plant and can cause allergies, you should wear gloves for all work.

The right cutting tool

Hedge trimmers, especially motorized ones, are taboo when pruning the Etna cherry laurel. These pruning tools damage the beautifully shaped leaves and leave the shrub looking torn. It is better to use a pair of sharp pruning shears or scissors that leave a clean smooth cut

How to cut back

In order for the laurel cherry to thrive in a richly branched manner and for many new shoots to grow, a few points must be observed:

  • First remove all dead branches.
  • Trim the leafy branches above a pair of leaves to shape the shrub.
  • In order for Etna to form half-height hedges, the new shoots must be cut back by about half.

Bared shrubs tolerate a strong pruning

Although Etna is one of the frost-hardy cherry laurel species, the evergreen tree freezes back severely without winter protection in harsh winters and subsequently sprout only hesitantly. In the spring, cut off all frost damage down to the healthy wood so that the plant can recover quickly. In areas where temperatures are often below zero, you should give the cherry laurel winter protection to avoid damage that will permanently weaken the wood.

tips and tricks

How you cut the Etna cherry laurel depends on what you want to achieve with the cut. Since Etna grows quickly but rarely exceeds two meters, you can initially let a solitary plant grow uncut and only occasionally remove disturbing branches.

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