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Dead privet?

BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
edited February 2019 in Problem solving
First I have to say that I know little about hedging and especially privet. There is a hedge of it at the front of all the houses here and it had been there for quite some years when we moved in. Last two years it has over wintered fine. This year it looks like this:-

Every one else's us green but ours. There is also a small section that joins with next door's on the other side if the gate and that looks fine. I have tried scratching the bark but it seems brown. 

This hedge lies smack bang next to the pavement and having to remove it would be a nightmare. Please say it will recover  :s

We have not sprayed it with anything etc and there is no sign of honey fungus around. What do you think?

* on a second scrape, with a Sharpe knife there seems to be green there so that looks like it will return although I think some parts might be dead. I just wonder why, considering that all around are green hedges. We have had to lots of snow anf it froze hard for a bit but i imagine it should be OK with that as others are. *confused*


  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,527
    Privet does lose its leaves some years and not others.
    If you have done the bark scrape test and seen it is green it should be OK.
    Cutting back could reinvigorate it (not sure when you would do that!).
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    Thanks for your reply Privet. I hope it will be OK, watch and wait I suppose. Normally it gets cut in May and August. 
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    Oops I meant madpenguin. 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,000
    I do hope your hedge recovers Bifdezee.  It seems privet hedges in the UK are also suffering lately and nobody seems to know why. It cold be some kind of wind borne fungus but in that case why yours and not your neighbours? Very strange.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,124

    My privet has a lot fewer leaves than normal at this time of year.  I'm putting it down to the extremely dry summer last year (established privet was not exactly high priority for watering).  The hedges around here that have stayed greener are the ones that are somewhat neglected and overgrown - probably there's a lesson in there somewhere but I like mine clipped quite tightly.  Maybe your neighbours watered their hedges more, or didn't clip as much?

    In any case the best course of action for now is wait and see how our hedges do when spring comes.

    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • JennyJ said:

    My privet has a lot fewer leaves than normal at this time of year.  I'm putting it down to the extremely dry summer last year

    Snap! I too was blaming last summer, but if there's a "virus" about ... mind you mine was only a couple of years old so maybe it's just a childish tantrun :smile:

  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,124
    Mine was very mature (and very overgrown) when we moved here over 30 years ago.  My guess is it's almost as old as the house (built 1951) so whatever happens it's had a pretty good innings!
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    That's a good point JennyJ, I didn't water it and neither did the neighbours water theirs but ours looks much worse which is strange. So yes, time will tell. 
  • If you've done the scratch and found green under the surface I would leave to see if you get leaves. If this was planted later than other hedges that could explain the lapse of progress.
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