· Brent Wilson's Answer
· Hi Andrew,
I've been in the nursery and landscape business here in mid-Georgia since 1984. My experience with many of the laurels, including the schip and Otto Luyken have not been good ones. Our nursery no longer stocks these plants because of several problems. Not sure what the problem with your plants is but I can tell you what some of the problems we have with them.
One is shotgun disease. When laurels have this the leaves become full of little round holes, appearing as though they've been shot with a birdshot from a shotgun. I don't think this is the problem with yours because you would most definitely see it.
Borers are another problem but I rarely see that. Check the trunks and branches of your plants to see if any holes have been bored in them.
What I think could be the problem is high temperatures. Over the past couple of years, those of us in the eastern US have had some exceptionally warm summers, with below average rainfall in many areas. Schip and Otto Luyken laurels are plants which are grown in the west, such as in northern California and Oregon, where the climate is much cooler and more overcast. Sometimes, especially during particularly hot summers here in the east, they have a tough time acclimating to the heat. Here in mid-Georgia, if someone says they just have to have these plants, I always recommend planting them in morning sun with afternoon shade.
Have you spoke with your local extension agent or nurserymen yet? They may be able to visit your property and give you a better diagnosis.
Hope this info was helpful. Let me know if you have any further questions.