Answer: The gray you see on the stems may be natural aging or can indicate a fungal disease of some sort. Without being able to inspect the plants, it's difficult to diagnose. You can prune your plants back to encourage healthy new growth. After you've done that you can take a few of the cuttings to your local cooperative extension office or well staffed nursery for help in identifying any potential problems with the stems. Good luck with your privets.
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