Forum home Problem solving

Save my hedge?

Hi all!

full disclosure: I am not a gardener. In fact plants usually die in my care but last year we bought a house with hedges that block the sound of the busy road. I think they are dying and i don't know what to do. I've read some stuff online about pruning but I'm still not sure what my hedge really needs. A couple of them were brown but we didn't give it much two of the hedges have died completely and we cut them down for fear of fire hazard. A couple more are brown and the ones that are green are brown inside. I don't even know what kind of hedge it is. It smells cedar-y. I have a pruner thing... not sure what to do really. Not sure if it's normal for them to be brown inside. I stuck my arms in today and shook out all the dead pine needles because that seemed sensible to me. a family member told me to cut downwards into them at a 45 degree angle to allow sunlight and I ended up with a gaping hole because I think I cut a pretty big branch. I've also noticed the occasional spade shape leaves vine around the base but there's not a lot of it and it doesn't appear to be growing inside.image




  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,386

    There seems to be some sort of blight affecting conifers. The all brown ones are dead, remove and burn. Cutting branches out that are dead may help the others, but sterilize secateurs or lopper blades with meths or surgical spirit.  Conifers will not resprout from brown wood. It may be transmitted by aphids, but there seems to be little you can do to prevent it.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,462

    I agree with Fidget.

    I would just add that brown inside the hedge is perfectly normal for these - that is nothing to worry about.  It's brown on the outside that's a problem as they don't resprout from brown wood, as Fidget has said.. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,400

    Once you've removed the dead trees and branches, give them a generous sprinkling of something like pelleted chicken manure around the roots and then a good long soak with the hosepipe - unless you've had lots and lots of rain recently.   Conifers do tend to strip the nutrients and moisture out of the soil so giving them an extra feed and a drink will help strengthen them.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I'm unclear. Are you guys saying I have to remove the brown trees or can I just prune them way back and hope for the best? 

    Also, how much can I cut off the tips without hurting them?

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,386

    The brown trees are dead. Remove and burn.

    You can cut or trim green bits, but if you cut into brown wood, it will not regrow.   The brown bits inside are natural, they grow like that.

    If you prune them way back, you will have ugly bare stems to look at, they will not resprout.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,386

    Shaking out the brown needles from the inside will probably help the airflow. image

Sign In or Register to comment.