How can I help an ailing bay tree?
QMy daughter has a quite large standard bay tree in a pot, which she says she waters regularly. It has recently dropped quite a few yellow leaves, although the rest of the plant looks quite healthy. Do you think the problem is the current hot spell or could it be something else? Sheila Blackmore, Chessington, Surrey
AAs the potted bay is regularly watered, it is unlikely that the rootball is drying out. What is probable, however, is that the tree has succumbed to bay scale, a tiny armadillo-like, sapfeeding pest that lurks beneath the leaves and debilitates them. Then again, if vine weevil has attacked, its tiny brown-headed, curved and dirty-white larvae can be found feeding on the
roots, causing them to malfunction, and for leaves to turn yellow and wilt.
I would like you to examine leaves and shoot tips with a hand lens. If you see scale insects, control them with BugClear for Fruit and Veg. If no scales can be seen, tap the rootball from its pot and look for the above larvae. If found, repot and soak the root system with Bug Clear Ultra Vine Weevil Killer.