mostly clear film on soil of a container grown mountain laurel and nearby oak trunk

Asked September 20, 2017, 10:47 AM EDT

I have a mostly clear film on the surface of the soil in a plastic pot containing a Keepsake mountain laurel that I recently puchased. I have planted mountain laurels before and know that they can be difficult to establish and I have been concerned about the health of the plant since it did lose a significant number of leaves and seems to be losing another leaf now. Another thing that concerns me is that an oak tree nearby seems to have the same kind of film on portions of its trunk. I am not sure, but it seems like the area affected by the film on the trunk may have grown. I am wondering whether this film or whatever is causing it may be a problem for the mountain laurel and/or the oak tree. The oak is very large and it is near our power, phone, and cable lines, so I want to find out what is going on so that I can take measures to address any related issues. At the moment I do not have a good camera to take photos of the container and the oak, but I should be able to take photos this evening if that would hlep.

Howard County Maryland

5 Responses

I don't these photos show the film very well, but I hope they are better than nothing. Maybe if you or someone else has seen photos of this phenomenon before, you will recognize it because of that.

We viewed your photos. This looks like possible slug trails. Slugs can climb bark.

mh

Thank you. Is it possible that slugs caused significant damage to the mountain laurel, including the lost of a number of leaves? I haven't seen new film on the surface of the soil in the pot of mountain laurel, so I hope that the problem is gone, at least for a while.

Slugs cause chewing damage and holes in leaves. They would not cause leaves to drop off of a plant. They feed primarily at night. Take a look at our web page about slugs, what to look for, and what you can do.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/slugs-and-snails

ckc