Beech Hedge is not too happy ...

Over the past couple of months the leaves on my beautiful beech hedge have gradually started to turn a light shade of brown and yesterday I noticed that some appear to be dead. I'm horrified! Usually in early September the hedge is still green and lush. Do I need to spray the hedge with insecticides? Can anybody please advise what I should do?


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    How old is the hedge Dr D? Beech doesn't like wet ground so is the soil decent and well drained?

  • AtillaAtilla Posts: 1,493

    It has been very dry since April-have you kept it watered over the summer growing season? Early autumning is an issue across a lot of the UK this year due to the lack of rain.

  • Hi,

    Many thanks for your responses.

    The hedge is 9ft tall and is about 50 years old. The soil is fairly dry at the surface and clay much deeper. The garden was watered regularly but obviously (taking your comments on board) not enough! I'll be placing lots of horse manure around the base of each tree this coming week and water it in thoroughly. I hope this will help.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    My parents had beech hedging at their house and it was planted when I was a young child so it's the same sort of age and size as yours - unless the new owners have removed it! I think it just may be feeling the effects of the summer DrD. If you plan on putting manure along the base - make sure it's well rotted. A water and a mulch of compost or similar would probably be as beneficial, followed by a feed in spring. At that age it should be able to withstand variable weather conditions without suffering too much.

  • I wouldn't feed a stressed tree/plant.

    I would just water it until it starts to bud in the spring then add the mulchOak trees around here went in autum mode quite Early this year.I do think it's just just shuting down for the winter 



  • Lion SLion S Posts: 263

    Did you perhaps have any heavy machinery come in your garden this last year? Or has there been any digging done in the area where the hedge is growing? The rootsystem could have been compressed or damaged.

    Also, are there any spots where the water doesn't drain away after heavy rain? Then there is a possibility that the layer of clay is too dense and forms kind of a "pool" down where the rootsystem is.

    I agree with Clueless that you shouldn't feed a stressed plant; it causes them to grow while they need all of their reserves to save themselves. Just keep it well watered and give it a mulch ( do keep away from the stems) so the soil doesn't dry out.

    Hope your hedge picks up again as these hedges are so valuable to wildlife and so beautiful.

  • Lion SLion S Posts: 263

    Okay, can't edit, so... of course, it is possible that the hedge IS just shutting down early.

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