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Laurel (Bay) Tree Spotty Stems

Posted by born_free none (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 6, 13 at 20:29

Hi All

Was hoping someone could tell me what is covering my Bay Tree. The stems have brown spots all over them - the leaves are clear.

I am not sure if it's fungal or scale. I am able to scratch it off with a finger nail.

Any advice on how to treat it is appreciated.

Thank you!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Laurel (Bay) Tree Spotty Stems

Outdoor bay trees, especially if they have been through some vicissitudes such as drought, hard pruning or being pot bound for a while, do develop marks like that on the older bark. If you can easily scrape them off with your nail they are scale. If they are stuck tight they're normal lenticels, part of the tree and not a problem. Yours look normal to me.


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RE: Laurel (Bay) Tree Spotty Stems

Thank you florauk for your response.

The tree is looking quite full and healthy and I assume it is scale on the stems as I can scrape it off. I will give it a good spray with soap oil and see how we go.


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RE: Laurel (Bay) Tree Spotty Stems

Bay leaf (plural bay leaves) refers to the aromatic leaves of several plants used in cooking. These include:

Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis, Lauraceae). Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance. The leaves are often used to flavor soups, stews, braises and pâtés in Mediterranean cuisine. The fresh leaves are very mild and do not develop their full flavor until several weeks after picking and drying.

California bay leaf �" the leaf of the California bay tree (Umbellularia californica, Lauraceae), also known as California laurel, Oregon myrtle, and pepperwood, is similar to the Mediterranean bay laurel, but has a stronger flavor.

Indian bay leaf or malabathrum (Cinnamomum tamala, Lauraceae) is somewhat similar in appearance to the leaves of bay laurel, but is culinarily quite different, having a fragrance and taste similar to cinnamon (cassia) bark, but milder.

Indonesian bay leaf or Indonesian laurel (salam leaf, Syzygium polyanthum, Myrtaceae) is not commonly found outside of Indonesia; this herb is applied to meat and, less often vegetables. West Indian bay leaf, the leaf of the West Indian bay tree (Pimenta racemosa, Myrtaceae), used culinarily and to produce the cologne called bay rum.

Mexican bay leaf (Litsea glaucescens, Lauraceae).
Organic seeds exporter

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic seeds exporter


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RE: Laurel (Bay) Tree Spotty Stems

Spam. Cut and pasted from Wiki.


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RE: Laurel (Bay) Tree Spotty Stems

I have over treated and killed small Bay Laurels with insecticidal soap and also with cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol. If the tree is big enough you should be okay, but on a little one I would just keep going with the fingernail. Gross, but effective. Nails are not just for cleaning out your nose and scratching your bum. :)

Keep an eye on it going forward.


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RE: Laurel (Bay) Tree Spotty Stems

Thanks balljoint

Way too much of it to scrap off so I will just leave it be and hope other insects come to the rescue. Might leave the nails for painting and biting in times of stress :)

It isn't looking too bad and hopefully hasn't been compromised by the extent of the scale.

As for the previous poster listing the types of laurel - I'd say it's Laurus nobilis.

Thanks again

This post was edited by born_free on Sat, Oct 12, 13 at 21:30


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RE: Laurel (Bay) Tree Spotty Stems

born_free - How large/old is your bay laurel? I look a close look at mine, and have no indication of that scale. I'm wondering if this is something I should prepare for later.

I love bay - what an amazing plant!


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RE: Laurel (Bay) Tree Spotty Stems

Hi river_city

Your tree is a beauty!

Mine is 4 years old. The scale is quite prolific and not being much of a gardener, and therefore not taking the care I should, I am not sure how long it's been there. Initially I assumed it was normal.

It's spring here in Sydney and I have been learning all I can using forums like this so I can give the garden the care it needs going into growth season.

Great seeing the different uses for bays. My parents gave me the tree as they are of Portuguese descent so bay leaves are integral in their cooking :)

Thanks for responding.


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