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Cherry Laurel Shrubs - Disease, Pest, Overwatered?

Posted by eric_o 6 (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 2, 10 at 20:37


I have several cherry laurel shrubs that appear to be dying (leaves turning brown and dying, stunted growth). There's been a significant amount of rain/snow lately but I suspect a disease or pest because several other cherry laurels only a few feet away are doing fine. Is this shot-hole disease? If so, will spray save them? Please see linked photos if anyone can help identify the problem. Thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cherry Laurel Shrubs - Disease, Pest, Overwatered?

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 2, 10 at 22:20

Classic symptoms of drought stress.

How long have they been in? If recently, inadequate water to the rootball. If longer than 4 years, likely a problem with the lower stem or roots.

RE: Cherry Laurel Shrubs - Disease, Pest, Overwatered?

Hello Jean,

Thanks for responding. They've been in for two years. I'm very surprised to hear you say drought is the issue. We're coming out of an extremely wet winter, with local flooding and trees coming down from a combination of wind and saturated ground. As well (you can't see it from the pictures) there are other cherry laurels only three feet away across a walkway that receive about the same amount of water and are doing fine. What tips you off that it is drought?

RE: Cherry Laurel Shrubs - Disease, Pest, Overwatered?

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 3, 10 at 13:53

The tip that it's drought (aka, a water shortage ) is the pattern of brown which progressed from the tip backward into the leaf.

The damage you see is from last year.

As for the fact that others are doing okay, many things can affect how much water gets into the top of the plant, among them these:
- the root system of the individual plant (even though they're all the same kind, they *are* individuals)
- newly planted/transplanted woodies need supplemental irrigation for at least two years. (Yours ran short of water last year)
- differences in root systems (part of the "they are individuals" kind of thing)
- exposure: perhaps the damaged ones are in more light, or a windier, or more exposed, site
- perhaps the damaged ones receive more reflected light, as from a driveway or sidewalk
- differences in soil between the two planting area.
- if given supplemental water during the growing season, the amount received, also the method applied

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