Laurus nobilis topiaryBay Laural
English Holly

Bay Laurel is a slow growing mediterranean plant with a rich culinary history. 'Saratoga' Bay Laurel is a hardy cultivar of L. nobilis that exhibits all of the best features of the standard. This is an evergreen dense shrub or tree that is useful for screening and ornamental use. 'Saratoga' can be shaped into a beautiful dense hedge, multi-trunked shrub or small tree, depending on pruning and training. Generally not fussy about soil, but needs good drainage. It can take full sun or light shade. Wind resistant, but not so much to salty ocean winds, so perhaps not be suited for streets with a prevailing coastal wind.

The aromatic leathery leaves are used in cooking, and the yellow green blossoms are lightly fragrant and showy compared to the standard. Little blackish berries form and drop from the female trees only (Dioecious) and this should be considered when planting close to walk ways and parking.

'Saratoga' will accept moderate water but not soggy wet feet. It will need moderate water to get established. After establishment, it can get by with little summer water. No major root pathogens or disease issues are noted, and, it can take temperatures in the low 10's. 'Saratoga' is resistant to laurel psyllid and soft scale, which is a known problem for Laurus nobilis (straight species).

Maximum height
20-25 feet tall &
12-15 feet wide

Life Span
100 + years

Criteria for Ranking

1 (low) - 5 (high)

Drought Tolerance after first year establishment 4
Wind Tolerance 3*
Frost Tolerance 5
Surface Roots/Sidewalk Lifting 5
Power Lines Proximity
Cost/Maintenance 5
Disease Resistance/Hardiness 4***
*note asterisk denote species will be shaped by a prevailing wind. Keep protected from salty ocean breezes.
**note asterisk denote species is very slow growing. It may not reach the power lines in your lifetime!
***note asterisk denote species does not like overwatering and needs good drainage.

Location none known in Marina