Shot Hole Fungus On Cherry Laurels

Shot hole fungus, also known as shot hole disease, is a serious fungal disease that creates distinct BB-sized holes in leaves. With the rainy, warm weather we’ve been having this season Shot Hole Fungus is running rampant. Our Arborists report seeing Shot Hole Fungus on lots of Cherry Laurels in this area. Without treatment, this fungus will re-infect your shrubs year after year, not only ruining its aesthetic appeal but also weakening the shrubs health.

Plants Susceptible To Shot Hole Fungus:

Cherry laurel, English Laurel, Cherry Trees


Shot Hole FungusSymptoms:

Most signs of shot hole disease can be seen in spring and early summer.

  • Reddish brown spots on leaves
  • Holes in leaves (can look like insect feeding damage)
  • Defoliation

Most homeowners will see holes in their leaves and immediately think the issue is insects. In the case of Shot Hole Fungus, the original reddish brown damaged spots will dry up and eventually fall out leaving holes in the leaf.


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Shot Hole DiseaseShot Hole Disease Treatments:

At this time of the year, the damage from shot hole fungus is already done and the disease has already taken hold of the plant. However, our Arborist suggests you sign up for a fungicide treatment plan for next year to ensure your trees/shrubs are protected from Shot Hole Fungus. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is practice proper sanitation and pruning.

Proper Pruning: By using fine hand pruning techniques (not shearing) our plant health care technicians can strategically prune your shrubs/trees to allow better air circulation. This will promote faster leaf drying and lead to less fungal issues overall.

Practice Proper Sanitation: To reduce the spread of Shot Hole Disease and lessen the chance of reinfection/the severity of the infection, proper sanitation is a must. Remove contaminated leaves around and beneath the tree/shrubs.

Proper Watering: Water the soil around the base of the plant. This type of watering will keep the shrubs leaves dry, unlike overhead watering.

Fungicides: For optimal coverage, fungicides need to be used at bud break and continued throughout the year.

Arborist Tip: If your shrubs have Shot Hole Fungus damage and are currently being treated, our Arborists recommend allowing your shrubs to grow out or fine pruning them instead of shearing them. Allowing the shrub to grow out will help hide the holes in the old growth and showcase the healthy new growth not affected by Shot Hole Disease.

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