Something is Eating my Hedge

Hi all

Firstly, I'll start by saying I have very little knowledge about gardening so my terminology and understanding will be basic and limited, but here we go! 

I have a hedge in my front garden which has been there since I bought the property 4 years ago (and was probably in longer than that before), and there has never been a problem. I have cut it regularly over that time.

However, recently I have noticed there are lots of bit marks in the leaves. It's not over all of the hedge, but it is in a significant portion of it. It looks like something is eating the leaves, but when I look at the hedge I can't see anything on the leaves (like Ants for example). 

I've included some pictures. Can anyone help identify what it is that is presumably eating the leaves, and what I would need to do to stop it and restore the hedge to it's previous glory?

Thanks in advance everyone.

Posts

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 4,364
    That does look like vine weevil damage to me but I haven't heard of them eating a hedge before. Hopefully others might know more.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 28,052
    Yes - looks like vine weevil. 
    Have you got a pic of the whole hedge, or at least a bigger section of it - especially the damaged area? Is the hedge generally in poor condition, or green and leafy?
    It looks like privet, and they can sometimes get honey fungus, and if the hedge is generally unhealthy, they can be an easy target for other pests. The hedge would show other signs of that though, hence more photos  :)

    It's the grubs of the weevils that are usually the most damaging in a garden as they eat through plant roots, but that's adult damage in the photos. They make notches around the edges of leaves.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,577
    edited August 2018
    Yes adult vine weevils have been chomping through your hedge. They did similar here when we first moved in. We treated the bank with nematodes twice that summer/autumn and the following year we had very little damage. That was 2011 ... this is the first year we’ve had to treat the area since. 

    I would also also clear any rubbish/weeds/detritus from the base of the hedge, feed with Fish, Blood & Bone , give the base a good soaking and then mulch with some organic matter ... that’ll help the hedge to outgrow the damage. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Fairygirl said:
    Yes - looks like vine weevil. 
    Have you got a pic of the whole hedge, or at least a bigger section of it - especially the damaged area? Is the hedge generally in poor condition, or green and leafy?
    It looks like privet, and they can sometimes get honey fungus, and if the hedge is generally unhealthy, they can be an easy target for other pests. The hedge would show other signs of that though, hence more photos  :)

    It's the grubs of the weevils that are usually the most damaging in a garden as they eat through plant roots, but that's adult damage in the photos. They make notches around the edges of leaves.
    Here are a couple of longer shot pictures. The damage on both sides is concentrated in the middle and towards the bottom. 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,577
    That’s very typical of damage from adult vine weevils as they live in the leaf litter on the ground. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 28,052
    There's really nothing much  to worry about Matthew - just tidy up the base as Dove suggests. Weevils can climb but they don't fly  :)
    In general, it's helpful if the base of the hedge is wider than the top, so that it gets plenty of light. That will help it recover more quickly too. If you imagine a trinagular shape with a flat top - that's the kind of profile you're after, rather than a 'straight up and down' rectangle. I can see that you don't have a lot of room there though, so just manage it as best you can and it'll be fine. You can prune away those unsightly bits if you like, but they'll soon get covered, especially once there's a good bit of rain to help growth. 
    Keep an eye on any other planting you have nearby that may be susceptible to root damage by the grubs. Heucheras are particularly prone. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653
    Yep - I had the same on the lower leaves of my privet. They seemed to move on when I regularly swept the underneath of the hedge. 
  • Thank you very much everyone - the message is that I need a good tidy up around the base!! lesson learnt!!

    Much appreciated. 
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