The Q&A Archives: Dying Privet

Question: I have privet bushes in front of my home. They are my wall of privacy. The leaves are starting to turn brown in some sections. Are they dying? How can I tell? What can I do to save them?

Answer: Based on your description it is difficult to determine what is happening to your privet. Privet is occasionally affected by an assortment of problems that could cause it to defoliate to some extent, but it could also be the effect of the drought this summer and the onset of fall. (They are semi evergreen to deciduous, so they do lose some leaves in the fall although not usually so early.) There could also be some physical damage (a car ran into it for example) causing it to die back in a certain area. You might want to take a sample to your County Extension (454-0900) and see if they can identify the problem and see what they suggest.

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