We have laurel hedges in three different areas on our .44 acre. One of them is looking sick. It started last summer and now the first ten feet are really looking bad the next 10 feet or so starting to show signs and the last feet still look good.
Laurel is an evergreen plant, and many species of evergreens are showing signs of drought stress. Symptoms are browning and drying of the leaves or needles of a plant and overall decline.Thousands of evergreen trees and shrubs have already died from drought. If you did not provide supplemental water to your laurel during the extreme heat and dry weather, then they are suffering from the effects of the drought. The effects of drought can occur months or even years later. The root systems suffer from lack of moisture and die. The leaves no longer receive moisture, so they turn brown and dry up. The plant tries to survive on what little roots are alive and finally it can no longer sustain itself and the whole thing dies. If the hedge is in part shade and part sun, the area exposed to the sun the longest will usually die off first, and then it goes right down the hedge or line of trees. I'm seeing it everywhere I go in Missouri. Trees and shrubs must be watered during a drought. They only need a deep watering about once every 10 days or so. That will be enough to survive. The key is giving them a good, deep watering. At this point, it is probably too late to water them and save them. The damage is already done, and it won't matter how much water they receive now. If the roots are dead the plant will continue to decline and die.