Sideshow Girl on Tuesday, 3rd August 2010
Can anyone tell me what is eating the leaves on my laurel hedge. It is about 2.5 feet high and 8 feet long. New growth comes through fairly well - nice and green but underneath the leaves are virtually non existent except for small dried brown pieces. Its been like this for a while now. I think there is an ants nest below the plant but I have also seen small brown insects on it today. Thank you.
Laurels are often affected at this time of year by a fungal infection called 'shot-hole'- it causes brown patches of dead leaf, which often drop out leaving a hole. This can look like something is eating the plant.
It's unlikely that ants are causing any damage, although they can be a sign of aphid infestation (they're attracted by the honeydew excreted by the aphids). I've never come across aphids on laurel but it's worth a look- the leaves will feel sticky and you may notice some black mould blooming on the leaves.
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