Why did my Cherry Laurel die?

Asked July 7, 2019, 9:56 AM EDT

I planted 6 cherry laurels in 2009. Last fall, one suddenly died. The bottom leaves turned brown and it was a quick demise from there. I thought it was an anomaly until another one started dying this spring
(first two pictures). Another one close by is mostly healthy but something is eating holes into the leaves. Not sure if this is related. Is there anything to do to save this plant and is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening to my other plants?

Howard County Maryland shrubs cherry laurels

1 Response

Cherry laurels are prone to a number of problems. Ones that are planted too deeply and have a lot of mulch around the base can suffer the most. As this is attractive to peach tree borers.
Look at the base of your shrubs for evidence of peach tree borers. They tend to enter the plants close to where the ground. This is a serious issue with no treatment. If your other laurels have mulch burying the stems and near the trunk pull it away.
They also have a disease called cherry shot hole. It looks like insect feeding damage but the disease causes the tiny holes in the leaves. This tends not to be too serious as the new growth masks the damaged leaves.
Please see the following information,
https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2019/01/07/qa-whats-wrong-with-my-cherry-laurel-shrubs/

https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/borers-shrubs

There is no evidence of it in the photos you sent but look on the stems for scale, it is mentioned in the blog information.

Deb