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Privert leaves browning and curled

Hi, this is my first post here so be kind :)

I planted a standard privet hedge from bare root plants early this year, they have been coming along fantastic all spring and summer, filling out lovely. Really suddenly in the past few weeks their leaves have gone from lush green to blotchy brown and have started to curl. There are only a handful of the plants that are still looking healthy all over, all others vary from having a few brown leaves to all leaves being brown. I have read a few bits online about various fungus that could be to blame attacking the root system but they say there is no home the option being to dig up plants all soil for a meter square replacing with new, treating with chemicals leaving bare for 8 months and then planting with a resistant species...  this is a huge endeavour, i dont have a massive garden but the hedge run is about 14 meters long. I just wanted to get people opinion on here as to the best course of action where hopefully its something not as drastic.


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,670
    Hi Mark,
    you don't say whereabouts you live.  Have you had an early frost or sudden cold snap?  Privet is evergreen but (at least here) it doesn't always stay really lush all winter and it does brown/drop some leaves, then grows a new flush in the spring.  It might just be that.
    I'd be inclined to leave it alone unless you get a definite diagnosis of disease.
  • Apologies, i live in Swansea Wales. We have beautiful summer, with heavy rain in the past few weeks but no frosts just cold rain.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,670
    edited September 2018
    Ah OK.  I'd still be inclined to take a wait and see approach, and see how it is come springtime.
    There's a product called Armillatox outdoor cleaner which used to be sold as a control for honey fungus (If I remember rightly the formulation is unchanged but it was rebranded due to pesticide regulations).  You could try that if you think it might be honey fungus.  I think I've heard that Jeyes Fluid is similar (and it's more widely avaliable) but I can't be sure on that.  Someone else might be able to help. 
  • It seems to have some but not all the symptoms of honey fungus so it could be at an early stage i suppose. Do you know if there would be any harm in treating as a precaution?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,143
    JennyJ said:
    Ah OK.  I'd still be inclined to take a wait and see approach, and see how it is come springtime.

    I agree ... I'd leave it be for the winter and in the spring reduce its height by 1/3 and feed with Fish Blood and Bone.  

    It's been a difficult summer for newly planted hedges and trees.  

    No point in treating something that may not exist ... you run the risk of killing off beneficial organisms such as microrhyzal fungi and bacteria.
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thank you for the advice, i will wait until spring before taking any action. I certainly hope that its not a fungal disease, i need that hedge to grow tall to keep my nosey neighbor from peeking in all and the time. 
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