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Dying privet hedge

We seem to be losing our privet hedge a few branches at a time starting from one side. We lost about 1m last summer, and now a good meter seems to be affected again. What is it? How do we save the hedge?
The bark seems normal on the outside but has some stains on the inside. 
I've tried to take photos, would appreciate any insight!


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,677
    Not sure about diseases, but how long have the pallets been leaning on it?  They might not be the cause of the problem but they'll be shading out what's behind them and stopping rain from getting to the roots.
  • I agree about the pallets, they won't be helping the hedge, however assuming the pallets have not been in that place for more than a week or two, I would say we also have this problem with our 100 yer+ privet hedge - it is slowly dying in stages.  So far we have managed to replace the dying plants with new ones and that has been relatively successful although I realize they can take a few years to catch up with the surrounding healthy privet hedge.  The first thing we checked for when we noticed the hedge was dying was to look for honey fungus but there wasn't any in that area of the garden luckily.  I would suggest that your hedge has a good watering every month in the drier weather, adding some bonemeal or other plant food once or twice during the growing season.  Perhaps you will receive some other suggestions which will help you to ascertain the problem @blancamercade. If you do have honey fungus you would notice some brown fungi, a decaying smell and rotted stems.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,030
    It may have suffered from drought. They appreciate quite wet conditions.
    The ground doesn't look brilliant there.
    Have the pallets been there a while, and what else is that growing through the hedge?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks everyone for your replies!
    The pallets have only been there for a couple of weeks so unrelated.
    Regarding the floor, this is true it's an area of the garden where there is no grass and the soil is generally quite dry... 
    There is a bit of ivy in the floor and also a bramble growing through, but I would have thought also unrelated?
    Drought is an interesting theory but would that be consistent with having 10 more meters of healthy plant?

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,305
    my guess is honey fungus. Privet is HUGELY susceptible to it
  • I've done a bit more digging taken some photos of the base of the bark  where it touches the soil, as well as collected some soil. Does this look like honey fungus?
  • It doesn't look to me as if you have honey fungus @blancamercade, the fungus would be a sort of honey colour, light brown/fawn and would smell damp and decaying.  To me this just looks dry - underwatered, probably underfed and neglected.  What do you think @Hostafan1 ?

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