Skip laurel trees are a go-to for many people looking for lush, dense privacy hedges. Smaller and more compact than most laurel trees, these vibrant evergreen trees can create living screens that are a great size for any yard. While they thrive in full sunlight, Skip laurels also fare very well in the shade—just one of the attributes that makes them low-maintenance and easy to manage. In the springtime, you’ll be rewarded with fragrant white blossoms that attract all kinds of pollinators.

Skip Laurel Trees at a Glance

  • Make excellent privacy screens
  • Green year-round
  • Fragrant, white blossoms in spring
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Smaller leaves than other laurels give a neat, compact look
  • Fares well in urban conditions
  • Deer-resistant


Skip laurels are smaller than other laurels, allowing them to create more neat, compact hedges when pruned. They naturally have a vase-like shape. Skip laurels grow to be 10-18 feet tall and 5-7 feet wide, with a moderate growth rate of roughly 24 inches per year. Their dense foliage is glossy green year-round, and fragrant white blossoms bloom in spring. In fall and winter, Skip laurel trees produce red berries that attract songbirds.


AppearanceGlossy green leaves that are smaller than other laurel leaves, making for a neat, compact look, white flowers in spring, and red berries in fall and winter
Height10-18 feet tall
Hardiness ZonesZones 5-9
Type of treeEvergreen
Sunlight requirementsFull sunlight to partial shade
Soil compositionVery adaptable, as long as soil is well-drained

Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the various regions where different types of plants thrive. The best growing conditions for Skip laurels are Zones 5-9, which stretches from coast to coast, covering most of the country.

Growing Conditions

Skip laurels are known for being low-maintenance, virtually hassle-free and able to thrive under a variety of conditions.

Sun and shade

Even the best hedge plants can struggle in the shade—but not Skip laurel trees. This tree type flourishes in both full sunlight, or six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day, and partial shade. You won’t need to sacrifice color or growth if your plant experiences a lot of shade. Another issue with shade is that it can lead to increased susceptibility to disease and pests—Skip laurel trees are both disease- and pest-resistant.


Skip laurel trees thrive in a variety of soil conditions. Their only true requirement is that the soil drain well. They do well in sandy soils, clay soils, and alkaline and acidic soils.


For the first week after planting, water your Skip laurel every day, then gradually reduce to once a week or every 10 days. A good way to keep your soil moist is by applying a 3-4 inch layer of mulch.


You can feed Skip laurel trees in the spring after they have flowered, using a slow-release fertilizer.


Skip laurel trees do not require pruning, but they respond well to it. If you decide to prune, do it in spring after the tree has flowered or early summer. Keep in mind that pruning will get rid of the berries that songbirds like to eat, and take away their opportunity to nest in your tree.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do they lose their leaves?

Skip laurel trees are evergreen, and their glossy foliage stays dark green year-round.

How tall do they get?

Skip laurels can grow as tall as 18 feet high.

How quickly do they grow?

They grow at a moderate pace of roughly two feet per year.

Do they flower?

Yes, Skip laurel trees bloom fragrant white flowers in spring.

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