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laurel with shot hole problem

Last post 10-06-2010 9:07 AM by dimitri. 5 replies.

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  • 20/05/2010 04:04 PM
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    wow this has rapidly taken hold of my established laurel and i've cut it back to stumps. i'm not sure this is going to eradicate the problem fully, but i didn't want it affecting other gardens because i'd left it. i noticed other laurels up my road have the same problem. has anyone overcome this problem? will i need to remove the stumps? is there anything else i can do to save it?

    if the bush dies completely is it a bad idea to replant laurel in the same spot?

    what else could i plant there that won't be affected?

    appreciate any help thanks

  • 21/05/2010 09:41 AM
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    Shothole is casued by bacterial or fungal pathogens, seldom fatal, only attacks cherry family plants, but usually the damage is cosmetic and is pruned out of hedges in the usual way and masked by new growth each year in hegdes and bushes. 



    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 09/06/2010 07:07 PM
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     Hi Lovelylowlife,

     Boggy knows the score: shot hole is not a big deal at all. It is really brought on by humid, gloomy weather that encourages a mild fungal attack. A bit of a trim and some sunny weather will sort it right out.

    Even if you have a bad case, the worst that will happen is that growth will be slowed down (a non-issue for a full sized hedge or bush).  It just looks a bit ragged.


    1) I applaud your community spirit! That's good thinking and you can relax in the knowledge that shot hole on a laurel hedge is like spots on an person. They will always return and it's not a problem, unless you have a date ;)

    2) Your plants should bounce back and you'll have a bushy new look in no time.

    In  the future, all you need to do is to sweep up all fallen laurel leaves and trim out the very spotty ones.

    Good luck,

  • 09/06/2010 07:23 PM
    • dave
    • iver buckinghamshire
    • 16 May 2010
    • 526
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    i dont know if it is like your shot-holes but i had a laurel bush with holes but could not find out why until one day sitting in the garden i saw a bee and a wasp chewing the leaves and leaving hole in them maybe just maybe this is what is going on with your laurel


    do not look down on people only when you are helping them up
  • 09/06/2010 08:44 PM
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    It could be!

    I'm not sure about wasps, but there is a leaf cutter bee that snicks out neat round discs from the edges of a leaf. You can tell them apart because laurel shot hole also appears in the middle of the leaf, like this.

    If it was a severe case, however, it seems that it must have been shot hole, unless swarms of bees were seen in the area...
  • 10/06/2010 09:07 AM
    • dimitri
    • Devon
    • 14 Jan 2010
    • 158
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    Assuming this is cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), the cause of shot-holing is likely to be powdery mildew caused by the fungal pathogen Podosphaera (syn. Sphaerotheca) pannosa.  There is also another fungal pathogen called Stigmina carpophila that causes this symptom, but its effects are usually very minor.


    It is unusual for powdery mildew to cause this kind of symptom, but it happens quite commonly on laurel.  What seems to happen is that patches of fungus develop on young, expanding leaves.  As they mature, the affected patches fail to expand and eventually drop out, leaving a hole.  It also makes the leaf edges very ragged.


    There is a bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. mors-prunorum, that causes shot hole and also the much more serious problem of stem canker on Prunus fruit trees, but I never heard of it causing a problem on laurel.


    As others have pointed out, these infections are not a serious problem for such a vigorous plant as laurel.   Normally no treatment would be warranted, but if it persists as an unsightly problem, you could treat with a fungicide such as Scotts Fungus Clear Ultra.


    Powdery mildews are often more serious in water-stressed plants, so mulching may be helpful.


    The plant wont die from powdery mildew, so dont worry about replacing it.