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Privet hedges dying

hi, I have a lovely 40 privet hedge that started dying from one end last year. This year the next plant in the hedge suddenly died. I'm now worried it's honey fungus or something spreading. Can anyone help ID what it is? I asked a local tree surgeon Andy they just said that it wouldn't be honey fungus on a privet hedge. But they weren't very helpful and would come out to have a look. Photos attached. Thanks neil 


  • Thank you. That's a really useful link and all seems to fit:( so sad to see such an established hedge die. I will have to fund someone that can professionally remove it and save the rest. 
  • There seem to be some leaves of what could be bryony growing through the dead hedge. Also what could be dead climbing stems of bryony. Bryony can smother hedges and cause dieback by depriving the hedge leaves of light. Could this be your problem?
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,594
    edited September 2018
    There's definitely some bindweed in there (the heart-shaped leaves).
    There's also a cane in the bottom left corner near the white wall, that looks as if it might once have had a climbing plant on it (clematis? honeysuckle?  there's a label but I can't zoom in enough to read it) so some of the dead stems could belong to that.
    What's on the other side of the hedge?  It looks like it might be a gravel path, which makes me wonder if someone might have been a bit over-zealous with some weedkiller?
    Honey fungus seems likely though - it might become clearer when you dig one up and have a look at the roots.
    Edit: after a bit more research the heart-shaped leaves could be black briony, or bindweed.  The thing I know as briony turns out to be white briony (it has 3 lobes to the leaves). Oh the joy of common names  :).
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Thank you both. So the climbing thing has white flowers. The ones I used to pinch as a child and they pop off. Don't know what they are, but I cut the hedges regular and pull them back so they don't cover it. It is shingle next door but I don't think it's weed killer because it's creeping up the hedge year by year the last two years and next doors weed Andy shingle stretches further up my hedge row. So I guess it probably isn't. The cane I payed that year after advice from a garden centre to try and cover the dead hedge. I didn't pot it well and it's not really grown. Sounds like I need someone out to dig it and have a look. Thanks 
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,363
    edited September 2018
    Very sorry about your hedge. It looks very neat and like you look after it well.
    I hope you can save what is left and fix the gap left in some way.
    Just when you mentioned the bindweed and squeezing the flowers they pop out.
    We used to call it Granny pop out of bed.
    Sorry just thought it might make you smile for a minute.
    Jennyj  Convolvulus arvensis to you. :)

  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,594
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Tats exactly what we call them. Lol. Passed on generation to generation. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,553
    " I asked a local tree surgeon Andy they just said that it wouldn't be honey fungus on a privet hedge "

    IMHO privet is one of the plants most commonly killed by honey fungus.
  • I'll be honest. I didn't trust him. Think he advertised to be a tree surgeon but was a gardener that couldn't be bothered to come around and diagnose it. 
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