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I have a laurel hedge that I am taking down. Can I use the chips as mulch or will the mulch kill things as I've heard that laurel is poisonous?


Is your laurel an English laurel? If so, it is the plant Prunus laurocerasus which does have toxic properties (cyanogenic glycoside and amygdalin, according to the information here from North Carolina State University Extension) but I think that the toxicity mainly affects people and other creatures if they eat its leaves, twigs or seeds. My guess is that the wood chips should be safe to use, but what you could do is use the mulch on a path or other area where you do not want plants to grow and it will not touch anything you will eat.

University of Georgia School of Forest Resources has a list ofpotentially allelopathic tree species and Prunus laurocerasus is not among them.

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