Laurus nobilis – Half Standard

Bay Tree, Sweet Bay, Bay Laurel

From £149.25

Laurus nobilis is likely known foremost by its immediately recognisable leaf – the bay leaf, a popular culinary herb. However, The Bay Tree also makes for a brilliant ornamental evergreen tree that is particularly tolerant of drought.

Whether the foliage is utilised in an herb garden or not, they are particularly attractive – growing on brown stems, the lush green leaves are leathery with a finely serrated wrinkled margin.

Laurus nobilis Half Standard is a medium sized tree form of the species which has been clipped along its single woody stem to create a topiary ball of foliage at the top.

Origin: Mediterranean Europe
Genus: Laurus
Species / Cultivar: nobilis
Common Name: Bay Tree, Sweet Bay, Bay Laurel
Synonym: Laurus angusta

Plant Biography

Native to the Mediterranean, the Bay Laurel has a long history of uses in the surrounding cultures. The leaves are, of course, often used as a herb in food, but in the past were often used to tree ailments from bronchitis to influenza.

The fruit, oil from the fruit and the sticks all too have a wide variety of historical and contemporary uses, with the latter being used in Madeira as BBQ skewers to impart aromatic flavours into the food as it heats.

Laurus nobilis – Half Standard
Soil: Moist but Well Drained
Soil that allows water to drain at a moderate rate, without the water pooling.
Growth Rate: Slow
This plant is particularly slow to grow, even during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: A little
Easy to look after but may occasionally require some attention in order to thrive.
Situation: Full Sun to Part Shade
Enjoys direct sun most of the day, but tolerant of fewer sunlit hours or light dappling.
Eventual Height: 7.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.

Expert Tip

The Bay Tree is very accommodating to pruning if the size and shape becomes too much for the space it's in, or pruned into topiary for a more formal appeal.

Laurus nobilis Garden Design

The tree itself also has a wide variety of uses when it comes to gardening. It can be used as a small tree in a herb garden, or several can be planted in a row to create a screening privacy hedge that stays green all year round.

The Bay Tree is very accommodating to pruning if the size and shape becomes too much for the space it’s in, or pruned into topiary for a more formal appeal.

Laurus nobilis is often used in patio tubs.

Images from garden designed by Andy Sturgeon and landscaped by Belderbos Landscapes.

Care Tips

Laurus nobilis is particularly drought tolerant and can be planted in a variety of well drained soil types, and in a variety of locations – in full sun to partial shade.

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