Here are the results of our work reducing a bay tree in a back garden in Islington. Bay trees can grow to 12m / 40 feet / four stories tall with the same width. Therefore it makes sense to keep their size under control where space and light are limited.

Reducing a bay tree
Bay tree before and after reduction

So we reduced the height, width and density of the canopy. Where possible and appropriate, we always try to leave the tree looking natural. We achieve this by pruning back to significant, leaf bearing branches, as opposed to leaving bare stumps. Usually, this is also the best approach for the health of the tree.

We also reduced the suckers down to ground level. These are the skinny vertical shoots that grow from the tree’s roots, common to this species.

The end result was a smaller, lighter, smarter looking tree. As usual, we took care not to damage the shrubs near the tree, and cleared our cuttings from the client’s and neighbour’s gardens.

Just to clarify: the big piece of tree in the top third of the ‘after’ photo on the right is not part of the bay. That’s a big lime tree about five gardens away.

Bay trees provide colour all year round as they are evergreen, and you can put their leaves in your spaghetti sauce for a bit of added flavour.

If you’ve liked our work reducing a bay tree, and you would like to discuss how we can help with your trees, hedges, or climbing plants, please get in touch.

Reducing a bay tree

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