By Peter Punzi
Q. I read about the root system on laurel hedges and my question is, how deep is the root system? I have 3 in my yard and I had the city come out to mark pipes, wires etc. There are power lines under the hedges. Would the roots go as deep as the lines? Beverly Hernandez
A. Having removed a 15 foot wide 50 foot long row of Laurels from my first home in Lakewood (they were misplaced and growing into a fence and made my home look ridiculously small) I know how formidable these shrubs can be. Mine were probably planted 15-20 years earlier. I tried digging them by hand with a pick ax – but had to resort to getting a backhoe to dig them out. Usually utilities are at least two and a half to three feet down. In my case the root system was nearly that deep. If you have an old hedge there will likely be some roots approaching the lines but the majority of the root system will be in the top two feet of the soil. Of course they type of soil will also play a role in how deep the roots will go. Mine were in Sandy glacial till soil which allows for good root penetration. Heavier soil or hardpan can reduce the depth of a root system.
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Peter Punzi – Horticulture Guy is a Garden Communicator, garden consultant, coach and online garden shop owner. To find out more about services see his website HorticultureGuy.com or find out his tried and tested garden supplies at Shop.HorticultureGuy.com