The Q&A Archives: Leaf Damage On English Laurel

Question: New growth on our large, well-established English laurel hedge (usually very hardy) was devastated last summer. Leafs were slightly curled, then full of holes and stripped off branches. Even some old leaves appeared eaten. in places. No obvious pests are seen. What could cause so much damage?

Answer: Curled leaves might be signs of aphid damage. If aphids feed on the buds and newly emerging leaves, the damage may not show up until the pests are gone and the leaves completely unfurl. If leaves are stripped off branches, or the ends of leaves are nibbled, I'd suspect a browsing deer! This spring prune away the unsightly stems and branches. Laurel is a vigorous grower and will produce new stems and leaves in no time at all.

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