Schip Laurel

Asked May 29, 2020, 11:57 AM EDT

I planted a Schip Laurel last Spring in an area surrounded by bamboo. I am careful to keep all bamboo at least three feet from the laurel taking out the underground roots with a maddox. The laurel had amazing blossoms this Spring and the frangrance was profound. I thought it healthy and thriving. Then I began to notice yellowing of leaves and on closer inspection found shot hole disease. I would like to avoid chemicals, especially mancozeb. I have Neem Oil on hand. Do you think that Neem Oil would be effective if it is fungus and not bacteria? With the incredible dampness here in Bel Air, I think it is likely a fungus. I have stopped any overhead watering but have yet to find a way to control our outstanding downpours! How about Neem?

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

The yellowing leaves on laurel are normal older leaf shedding for this time of year, so no worries there.
Shot hole disease does not require any treatment. Rake up the leaves in the fall.
A big part of managing landscape diseases is to do things to increase light and airflow to plants so that the leaves don't stay wet for long periods of time.
It may be that your bamboo is impeding this and it's removal would be best.
That is a plant we would suggest removing anyway due to it's highly invasive nature.

Here is a page on shot hole on laurel from our blog: