Says grow your own so guess it's A. archangelica. Not sure if that one's biennial or perennial. It looks a bit small but might take off and flower if you plant it out.
Many of the angelicas are biennial or at least monocarpic. How big is it?
Glad to alleviate your worries
Mine today, older than yours, more crevasses
It's not a laurel it's an Aucuba
They are subject to phytophora infection which this looks like. Cut out all the dead bits. They can recover, mine have
PS ants are carnivorous, they don't damage bark
I think it may be that the mature bark is forming. I don't think it's doomed. That smooth white bark is only on young trees and smaller branches. I'll go and see what mine looks like this afternoon and take a couple of photos
Can we see a photo please?
Did you take any photos, sheps?
I can remember seeing loads of worms on the surface but not for years. But maybe I would if I went out to look