The Q&A Archives: Golden Privet

Question: We have a golden privet that has been growing well for the last 5 years, now it is brown and looks dead with very little new growth at the bottom. My questions are: is it dead? is it worth trimming back to see if it is still alive? Should we just buy a new one?

Answer: Scratch the bark along branches with your fingernail to see if there is green tissue beneath. If so, the privet is still alive. If plants were stressed from drought during last year's growing season or were hit by cold temps during winter, they can be slow to recover. Have you watered it deeply through the entire root zone? Water should soak 2-3 feet deep, and be applied at the plant's dripline (outer canopy edge). I'd water well and wait another month or so before giving up on it. Good luck!

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