2 trees & nearby part of hedge have gradually died - honey fungus or drought?
Over the last year or so, 2 trees at the bottom of my garden have gradually died, along with sections of the nearby privet hedge, and most of a small shrub. If just the hedge, I’d have put it down to old age, but with them all dying in a small area, I suspect something else. I can’t see any classic signs of honey fungus; I’ve dug around looking for rhizomes (how deep do I need to go?) & scraping off the bark doesn’t reveal any obvious white fungal mat. However the tree on the right has some white patches on the bark. The left tree is now well dead & rotting in situ - I plan to remove both as soon as I can gather my courage with the chain saw! I assume I should remove all dead material (which will leave a big gap in the hedge). Any thoughts on what it may be & the best course of action?