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Privet hedge problem

Please can someone help to identify why our privet hedge is dying?

Is is dying off in sections of it and appears to have a pale green fungus on patches of it. The problem began in one section (which had been close to a neighbouring ill pear tree- since removed) but has now spread around that area and is also happening in another section of what is a very old hedge.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as we’re presuming that the hedge will need replacing sometime... but would like to know what the culprit is that we are dealing with!


  • Thanking you in advance of any help at all that you can give :-)
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,164
    I don't know what's killing your hedge but I think the lichen is an effect not a cause - it tends to grow on shrubs/trees that are growing slowly or not at all.
  • Thank you. That’s interesting as I was beginning to wonder if that could be a possibility.
  • SheleenSheleen Southampton, in a gardenPosts: 51
    It could be honey fungus in the soil? I had this problem, and while many plants and shrubs will grow in soil with honey fungus in, privet isn't one of them. We replaced the sections of privet with hawthorn, which isnt affected by the fungus.
  • Thank you Sheleen. Honey fungus sounds horrible to get rid of if that’s the case. We’re going to try to investigate the ground and base of the privet tomorrow to see if we can find some proof of it. - It’s really helpful to hear of hawthorn being a useful plant to replace the privet with if it is the fungus.
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