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We have a beech hedge approx 140m long surrounding our property which has flourished every year for the past 14 years with no problems. Last year we had a small section about 2ft long, that had a black substance on the leaves and they all shriveled up and died but the branches we ok. This year, the majority of the new leaves on hedge has various degrees of this black substance on them. It seems to start off as light brown spots and as it spreads it gets darker then goes black. Can anyone tell me what this is and can it be treated?


  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,420
    It could verticillium wilt. Is that farm land behind ? if it is I wonder they have been spraying any chemicals and some could of drifted over on the wind. 
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    edited May 2019
    Interesting you say there is a black substance previously, and they shrivel up and cause leaf deformity. Would be interested to see what you mean by that. I'm assuming you have checked the back of the leaves to be sure there are no insects like aphids, which can also cause similar symptoms.

    Early this year, there had been some reports of a mystery disease that have been killing Beech trees slowly, and many start off with very similar issues such as leaves growing poorly and then ending with curling and distorted, finally turning black and falling off . It usually affects new growth tips like your shrubs. Unfortunately, I cannot offer much help in a way as I can see your shrubs are well established. 
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