Shrub infestation

Asked April 3, 2019, 6:49 PM EDT

We noticed holes and browning of our shrubs last summer and are concerned that they will be affected this year. Not sure what the condition is being caused by.

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

This looks like a cherry laurel shrub. The brown leaves looks like the plants were subject to winter damage and the holes are caused by a fungus called shot hole. No chemical controls are necessary. See more below.

Winter damage shows up as leaf browning and scorch when temperatures warm up in the spring. Broad-leaved evergreens are susceptible to drying winter winds, low temperatures, late frosts or freezes. Water deeply so there is enough moisture available to the roots before the ground freezes.

Cherry shot hole disease - The leaves have a shot hole pattern that looks like it was caused by an insect. However, this is a foliar fungal disease favored by wet weather. The infected leaf tissue falls out and the holes are left behind. The damage is cosmetic and no chemical controls are recommended. Rake up any fallen foliage. The plant will recover.
Take a look at our blog post on cherry laurel for more information