The Q&A Archives: Black Spider Disease

Question: A contractor working at my house recently suggested that I had "black spider disease" in my shrubs and evergreens surrounding my home. He said that the inside of the shrubs were yellowed and that the stems and branches were weakened. I have never heard of such a condition and always felt that spiders were a natural occurance in the garden and sometimes useful. Is there such a conditional as "black spider disease" and if so, what is the cause and treatment?

Answer: To be honest I've never heard of it. It is true that the innermost parts of dense shrubs will die out due to lack of sun and air, especially on those that are trimmed repeatedly such as yews used in a foundation planting. (I suppose that would make a nice home for spiders, hence the name.)

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