Cherry Laurel Diseases

Written by julia koontz
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Cherry Laurel Diseases
A healthy cherry laurel grows beautiful flowers and requires little care. (laurel blossom image by Alison Bowden from

Cherry laurels are beautiful North American trees with dark green leaves and dense branches and leaves. It is generally a hardy tree that does not require a lot of care, but like all trees, it is susceptible to a variety of diseases and pests. The most common diseases of the cherry laurel are commonly referred to as leaf spot, fireblight, and steam canker.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot is a type of fungi that can infect cherry laurels. It causes red spots to develop on the leaves of the tree as they are growing. Throughout the summer, these holes will continue to grow, merging together. Eventually the hole rots straight through, leaving a ragged hole. Some leaves may develop too many holes and die altogether.


Fire-blight is a bacterial disease caused by Erwinia amylovora. One of the first symptoms of fireblight on a cherry laurel tree will be a liquid oozing from a branch or the trunk. This holds the bacteria, which will oxidise and turn dark, leaving the tree streaky. The infection will also quickly spread to leaves and flowers, causing them to turn dark and eventually die. Finally, the fireblight will also dye the wood beneath the bark a reddish tone, which is the colour of the new infection that is continuing to spread.

Stem Canker

Canker stem or stem canker is a disease common to a variety of plants, including the cherry laurel. If a cherry laurel has this disease, the bark on the trunk or a branch will shrink, leading it to crack. Eventually this may cause the bark to fall off altogether, which leaves the branch or trunk unprotected and may lead to its death.

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