Problems with new Skip Laurel

Asked January 2, 2020, 4:24 PM EST

This fall we recently had a row of 6 skip laurels planted. The shrubs appear to have problems already, as shown in the pictures. Some have brown leaves and others have apparent insect damage. I have also included a picture of the nursery tag so you have the scientific name. What is happening and what action should we take? Thanks.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

'Skip' Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is a type of Cherry Laurel.
We are not too concerned about what you are seeing, especially given that yours were just recently installed.
The holes in the leaves are not insect damage, but a type of leaf disease called shothole fungus. It is not of great concern. Just pick off the leaves and rake and dispose of any others that you see.

We would do the same on the plant in the second photo, but suggest you check the base of the plant, the bark and the soil around it. These shrubs really can't handle being planted/mulched too deeply or in soil that doesn't drain well. Be sure that if you have a downspout in that location that you redirect the water flow away from these shrubs.
Just about this time last year our Maryland Grows blog highlighted the issues that this plant can have. See here: https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2019/01/07/qa-whats-wrong-with-my-cherry-laurel-shrubs/


Christine