Forum home Problem solving

Bay tree disease - what is it?

dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 926
Sorry, but I don't have access to the plant itself at the moment, as we're in the middle of a move, so will try to describe the problem as best I can:
This happens with young leaves only, presumably because they are tender and pliable.
One long side of the leaf rolls slightly in on itself, there is some yellowing to the leaf border too and it goes a bit crispy (sorry, non technical term!)
When I unfurl the leaf, there is an almost cotton-wool like substance on the inside, with a weird bug inside - slimy.
Is this the larvae of some insect?
For 3 years I've been trying to fight it off, by plucking off all affected leaves. In winter I prune hard back and spray with SB invigilator spray in spring...yet they always return.
My bay is about 3ft high, pot grown and about 7 years old, and was always very happy in its west facing position. 

Posts

  • B3B3 Posts: 21,500
    Cut off the distorted leaves and spray the tree with a strong jet of water.
    I don't know what spray you mean, but you don't need it. Plain water does the job fine.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,542
    I get the same on mine each year. I think they're Bay Suckers. I leave them to it as it'll need a prune at the end of summer I cut off most of the affected growth.
    I think SB invigorator is a good organic product, but it sounds like its not clearing them for you.
    Some RHS info here


    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 926
    B3 said:
    Cut off the distorted leaves and spray the tree with a strong jet of water.
    I don't know what spray you mean, but you don't need it. Plain water does the job fine.
    Done that B3, didn't clear it, unfortunately. SB is a brilliant, totally organic plant phenol spray, that works wonders on insect pests.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 926
    Pete8 said:
    I get the same on mine each year. I think they're Bay Suckers. I leave them to it as it'll need a prune at the end of summer I cut off most of the affected growth.
    I think SB invigorator is a good organic product, but it sounds like its not clearing them for you.
    Some RHS info here


    Thanks Pete - I'll check out the link. I want to be rid of it! Very ugly. I wonder if they overwinter....
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,639
    Shame we can't see a photograph. I take it you looked into Bay suckers and it looks very similar to your leaves? Without seeing the size of your shrub and its type of growth, it's hard to say whether some over-winter on the branches, and even the soil in the pot.

    I would suggest as a precautionary, scrape at least an inch out of the top part of the pot and lay a new layer of fresh compost/soil over it for the winter time. If your shrub is quite dense and heavily branched, you will need to cut further back into good leaves rather than removing the obvious top leaves. 
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 926
    It's definitely bay tree sucker.
    Thanks for the advice Borderline - I'll look at repotting completely once we have moved and thinning out (trunk about 2ft tall and quite dense shrub - not lollipop shaped, left au natural).

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,639
    At 2 feet tall and has quite a dense habit, you can definitely prune back a little harder. Au naturel is even better, allows you to cut how you want. They can be planted in the ground at that size. 
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 926
    At 2 feet tall and has quite a dense habit, you can definitely prune back a little harder. Au naturel is even better, allows you to cut how you want. They can be planted in the ground at that size. 
    I had considered planting out, but was worried it would burdgeon into an enormous and uncontrollable tree, in no time!
Sign In or Register to comment.