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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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Thursday - June 14, 2007

From: carrollton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Identificaation of different cultivars ofPrunus caroliniana
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

How can you tell if you have a Carolina Cherry laurel or Carolina cherry laurel "compacta," or a Cherry Laurel-English? I have a line of four cherry laurels and one in the middle recently died and I need to replace it. When I began the search I found these three varieties.

ANSWER:

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) and Prunus laurocerasus (English laurel) are very similar in appearance. The leaves of P. caroliniana are typically a little smaller (2"-3") than those of P. laurocerasus (2"-6"). The leaves of "dwarf" cultivars of cherry laurels will be even smaller. Your best bet for matching your replacement plant is to take a branch of an existing plant with you to a local nursery that offers both species and compare them there.
 

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