Bay Laurel Tree Branching
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Cecil Bovaird

Two years ago I purchased a package of Bay Laurel seeds. One germinated (of 10) and is now 30" high. My concern is that it is only a single stem. Pictures I have seen and your description indicate "small tree" which have branches. How do I get my plant to branch out? I thought about cutting the top off. This is quite severe, particularly if it does not work.

The very tip of every tree exudes a plant hormone that inhibits lower buds from growing. The rate of production of this hormone varies from plant to plant and seems very high in your plant. To temporarely stop the production, just nip out the growing tip of the plant and keep nipping out tips of top branches until you have the number of side-branches you wish. The very top branch will grow fastest because it does not have a tip above it producing the hormone and it may have to be nipped again to give side branches a chance.

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