Answer: You've heard right - there's a potential problem with Nerium. It's a bacterial disease, spread by an insect called the glassy-winged sharpshooter. The insect is a problem in Texas, Arizona and Southern California, but there's a concentrated effort by all three regions to control the insect and keep transmission of the disease in check. If you're interested in a look-alike small tree or large shrub, you might consider olive (Olea europaea). 'Little Ollie' is a dense shrub to 12' high and wide, and 'Majestic Beauty' is an airy, fluffy looking, single trunked tree growing about 25' high.
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