Diseased Bushes - Knowledgebase Question

Tualatin, OR
Question by dfucci
April 16, 1999
I just went outside after a long, COLD, wet winter, and saw my hedges are losing leaves, they're getting brown and brittle and dropping off, and they have white spots on them!! Everything else is blooming so they should be too, and instead they're LOSING leaves!! I'm not 100% sure what they are, I'm guessing they're some kind of Ligustrum, maybe japonicum. Can I still help my hedges so they won't die?


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Answer from NGA
April 16, 1999

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Ligustrum, or Privet, are generally pest-free, but the stress of a cold, wet winter may have set the stage for a fungal infection. I'd prune the hedges back to remove dead and diseased foliage and to encourage new stems and leaves. Remove the prunings from the garden so they don't infect other, healthy plants. You can prune back to live wood by scraping the bark with your thumbnail and removing everything that doesn't have a faint green color directly under the bark. (It's dead, anyway, so you won't be losing anything by pruning back hard.) Hope this does the trick and restores the health of your hedge!

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