Skip Laurel Problems

Asked June 30, 2015, 10:59 PM EDT

Last fall I installed 9 4-5' Skip Laurel (beginning of November) as a future hedge for a customer. Inearly Spring I replaced one that seemed to be suffering from some winter damage. I replanted that one and it seems to be coming back. In late May/ early June it was brought to my attention that the laurels were not looking good. Yellowing leaves with brown spots, wilting leaves and some dropping, small white dots on leaves, and, what looks like in a pic, a caterpillar (see image). The newly replaced plant was wilting but I think they hadn't watered it. Compost was tilled in when planted and the area is in shade. originally thought a fungus problem but they haven't even been in a year. The area is fairly flat as well. Thank you

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

The browning and yellowing are typical of a dying Skip laurel leaf. Cause may be a root or stem problem, harming translocation, and causing the scattered dieback.

These laurels are very susceptible to peach tree borer, and too much mulch or mulch piled on the trunk base is especially attractive to this pest. Check to see they are not planted too deeply, also, or have vole damage (also hidden by mulch.) Another issue with them is wet soils and drainage problems.

ECN