The Q&A Archives: English Laurel

Question: The English Laurel on the west (southwest) side of my house is showing signs of stress/death. The leaves have turned brown and crumbly. I feel that it received adequate water during our hot summer and this was its 4th summer in this location. Is this plant subject to any diseases that would be causing this?

Answer: English laurel is potentially subject to a wide number of diseases but you probably would have seen some other symptoms first. Based on my experience and knowing it was watered, I would suspect that there is a root issue that caused the plant to be unable to take up the water. Possibly it has encircling roots underground or the roots have encountered an obstruction of some sort causing them to grow poorly. Often it takes about five years or so for this type of stress to become apparent, and with encircling roots the plant often just suddenly dies. However it is difficult to diagnose disease and root problems long distance. I would suggest you consult with your county extension and/or professionally trained nursery staff to try to troubleshoot. I'm really sorry about your shrub.

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