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Need help with my Portuguese Laurel trees

Hi All,

Looking for some help and advice with our Portuguese Laurel trees, we have had them in for 3-4 years now, planted as established trees and up until last year they were going fairly well. However last year was not great for them and the same is starting to happen this year.

Some are better than others but now all have yellowing leaves to some extent, see pics. 6 trees in all (sorry about the mess, waste from lockdown projects...) generally 3, 4 and 5 from left to right seem to be the healthiest.

Pruned them top and front late last year to see if that would help, this year they have been fed and watered regularly, the soil is very free draining. Have planted other plants around the base of some and soil is certainly not wet or boggy so don’t think it can be over watering... Could it be they are still not getting enough water?? Generally have been watering once a week or so but in this heat giving them more when watering the rest of the garden... There is plenty of new growth which is encouraging but can’t explain the yellowing leaves. The idea was to use them as screening which they are doing but they just don’t seem very happy at the moment.

Any help, suggestions or questions would be welcome.

A good feed for them would also be helpful, have been using a premium organic seaweed fertiliser and applying by foliar spray but happy to change if it helps. Could it be a nutritional issue? Soil is quite chalky and does need improving, it is getting as I do add well rotted manure every autumn but could do more? All a bit confusing as I thought they should be fairly bullet proof.


Look forward to hearing from you.





  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,922
    Hello Luke  :)
    Sorry, your post seemed to slip through the net.
     l will bump up in the hope that someone can help.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,924
    I don't think there's anything wrong with them. All evergreens drop foliage, and with the size of those, they'll just be shedding some to maintain as much foliage as possible.
    The other planting is competition for water, and the addition of manure each year will certainly help.
    Good, deep watering every few days will be the main thing just now. A mulch of composted bark or just compost, after a good watering will also help if you can manage it. 

    I think you've done well getting those established anyway - not the easiest thing to do  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Hi AnniD, 
    Good to hear from you. Thanks, that would be great!
    Got some sequestered iron at the weekend to try and help also considering Epsom Salts, honestly didn't thing we would be having any issues with them, thought simply keeping them in check would be the biggest challenge.

    Have attached 2 further pics of leave from the weekend.

    All and Any advise most welcome.
    Can send more specific or further pics if needed.
    Thanks again,


  • LynLyn Posts: 22,852
    They always lose some leaves, they cant stay evergreen forever, there will be new growth coming to take its place.
    There’s  nothing wrong with those trees,  they need no feeding of anything. Especially in this heat. They will want to rest and conserve energy, not be forced to grow at this time.
    If you don’t like the dead leaves just pull them off,  I would think they’d come of easy. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • As fairygirl has said already I don't see much wrong with your Portuguese laurel trees. It is normal for evergreen trees to drop some of their leaves and there looks like there are plenty of healthy leaves on your trees. The leaves that are older and maybe a bit shaded by growth higher up will naturally be sacrificed to allow further fresh growth and the plant will naturally take nutrients out of these before leaving them drop. Not sure why you want to apply epsom slats or sequestered iron to your trees.
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