Schip Laurel Problem

Asked March 26, 2020, 9:06 AM EDT

We have several Schips on the side of our yard that were planted several years ago. In general they have done quite well. Sadly, one of them has started to develop a problem. Last year I removed a few of the dead leaves and branches. Unfortunately, it has started again this year as shown in the photos. Could this be the same problem addressed in a recent posting? FYI, this area is never watered and this isn't an area that is overly wet. That said, i do have ground cover that comes close to the bushes. What is the recommendation for the bush? Remove? Cut back and see what happens? What are the recommendations for the other Schips? Pull back ground cover? If so, to what distance?

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Most of the foliage looks clean on this cherry laurel. Though the last photo shows what looks like a fungal leaf spot, it is not enough to kill branches:

We cannot see any other particular pest or disease. We do see that this shrub is planted very close to a tree trunk. Last year we had a severe drought from summer into fall. Fall droughts are particularly hard on evergreens because they continue to lose water through their leaves in winter and yet there is not enough water in the soil. Having root competition for moisture from a mature tree nearby would make matters worse. That may explain the dieback.

Also, check the base of the shrub for chewing by voles.

In any case, prune out the dead wood. Water during droughts.

We don't see enough ground cover in the photos to be able to tell if they would have any impact. They would have to be very thick to compete with the shrub.