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Now it's my privet hedge! Can it be saved?

Now it's my privet hedge! Can it be saved?

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  #1  
Old 06-05-06, 06:15 PM
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Unhappy Now it's my privet hedge! Can it be saved?

I have a 6' or so high privet hedge on the boundary between my house and my neighbors. I planted dianthus in front of them last year (usually I just put in impatiens), and this year the dianthus is gorgeous, but the privet is not. It's dropping leaves like crazy, there's a lot of dead wood inside, and some of the remaining leaves have rusty brown spots on them.

It would be a HUGE expense to have this yanked out....can it be saved? If so, how? It's quite old and there is a lot of old growth. I have no idea how to trim it back. My landscapers shape it a few times a year, but that's about all the maintenance it gets. Should it be fed? It had some kind of mite about 5 years ago and I sprayed with malathion....are they back?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-05-06, 06:33 PM
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When you had mites a few years ago, did you have the same symptoms? Fungus, which is common on privet, can cause leaf drop. Frequent shearing limits air circulation in the hedge. While privet responds well to shearing, it still needs some hand pruning to open up the hedge to sunlight and air. Fungicide can be used.

Privet, however, needs to be renewed periodically by cutting it to the ground. Doing so allows you the opportunity to remove dead wood and stimulate new growth that is more disease resistant. The privet grows back quickly. With proper pruning you can maintain the hedge so that it gets good air circulation and sunlight inside the hedge to minimize die out inside the plants.

Another option, if cutting the hedge down does not appeal to you is to thin the hedge by removing twiggy branches and dead wood. Cut back to a large structural branch and remove enough stems where internal branches are barely visible. This will open up plants to allow air and light inside plant. Apply fungicide.
 
  #3  
Old 06-05-06, 06:42 PM
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I have a persnickety neighbor, so a less disruptive way of dealing with it would help.

Please explain further, if you don't mind, how to trim it back. I know what dead wood is, but what do you mean by "twiggy branches"? I don't want to trim good stuff, just bad stuff.

I posted about my azalea elsewhere, and while it doesn't look great, the food, topsoil, mulch, and cutting off dead wood, combined with recent rains, has helped.

What kind of fungicide do you recommend, and how do I apply it? It's odd that it would be fungus, because this hedge gets a lot of afternoon sun.....
 
  #4  
Old 06-05-06, 07:18 PM
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Twiggy branches are those that tend to have greenery just on tips. They may be crossing over other branches on the interior of the bush. To confirm whether you have mites or other insect or disease, you can take an affected branch or two to your local Dept. of Agriculture Extension Agent for identification. He/she can also recommend fungicide. You can usually find fungicides at your local garden center.

Privet rust mites are microscopic. There are no visible mites on leaves. Your local Dept. of Agriculture Extension Agent can recommend a chemical control.
 
  #5  
Old 06-09-06, 12:28 AM
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Hi Hackwriter,

Maybe these sites will help what Twelvepole is explaining. You can either rejuvenate over a 3 year period or all at once.
http://www.orchardsedge.com/qa.jsp?c...+and+Shrubs#31

At this site look especially at pages 10 and 11.
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/HO-4.pdf

Click on Renovating overgrown hedges here.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basic...nehedges.shtml

Another helpful link.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/victorygarde...dge/index.html

Newt
 
  #6  
Old 06-21-06, 05:46 PM
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We have a diagnosis

I had my landscaper take a look, and it turns out that my privet has mites. No big surprise; it had mites about 5 years ago and I had to spray it with malathion to get rid of them.

He sprayed yesterday, and will prune in early July -- and hopefully it will leaf out again.

I do wonder, though, if since it's so old, I should rejuvenate it anyway by cutting back 1/3 of the big stems every year. Any thoughts?
 
  #7  
Old 06-23-06, 08:38 PM
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Since your privet has mites again, I'm thinking it's stressed as spider mites attack stressed plants. Consider topdressing the roots with 1" of compost and then a renovation as we discussed earlier. I would continue to topdress the roots with an inch of compost in fall and spring.

Malathion is a pretty strong chemical. Consider using an insecticidal soap for spider mites. Here's some interesting ideas for spider mites.
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_question.php?id=604


Once you do the renovation, you could also make a foliar spray with seaweed and/or compost to help strengthen your privet.
http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/s...708003930.html
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_question.php?id=204

Newt
 
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