Laurel Leaves with Holes
Laurel Leaf "Shot Hole"
The leaves of the cherry laurel tree (Prunus laurocerasus) are prone to a harmless condition called Laurel shot hole. Your plants' leaves will looks a bit like swiss cheese, with lots of round holes punched into them.
Do not be concerned. It is a mild fungus doing the damage, not insects.
It happens in these conditions:
1. In large concentrations of cherry laurel, like in a hedge or laurel woodland (it sometimes happens on portuguese laurel too).
2. When the weather is generally damp, with low amounts of sunlight.
When there is more sunlight & dry air, fresh growth will replace "shot" leaves and the issue should not return (until the humid weather does!).
For this reason, we do not suggest that you use a fungicide.
If you have a very bad case or just want to clear it up, you can use most broad application fungicides, applied in June.
We would like to emphasise that laurel shot hole often appears on the laurel plants we grow in large numbers in our nursery. We choose not to use any fungicide on them because this is a very minor condition.
Organic Prevention of Laurel Shot Hole:
1. Sweep up fallen Laurel leaves regularly.
2. Prune out dead or ingrowing branches inside the plants.
3. Look for ways to improve the air circulation around the plants: sometimes a piece of nearby fence can be removed, or other plants cut back.
Browse all of our other Hedging Plants here.