Ask a Question forum: Has petrol poisoned my privet hedge

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Name: Gabbydcs
Edinburgh uk
Jul 12, 2016 12:40 PM CST
About 10 weeks ago an idiot decided to pour petrol into our hedge and light this. Thankfully there where people around who called the fire brigade. I have taken out all of the dead hedge hoping it would come back but the very small leaves that started to grow go black and die. Should I just give up and pull out or keep at it and hope it will come back in timeThank you so much
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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Jul 12, 2016 1:30 PM CST
Did much soak into the ground? And did the fire crew use chemicals of any sort to put out the fire? If not, they might come back. We have certainly burnt weeds, only to have them come back later. A lot depends, I guess, on how patient you are and how well established the hedge was.
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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Jul 12, 2016 2:32 PM CST
I wonder if you might be able to smell any residual petrol in the soil? Try taking a few handfuls and give it a sniff?

If it was diesel fuel, you'd definitely have to dig out some soil and replace it. Oil hangs around a long time and messed up the plants badly. Gasoline should evaporate eventually, I would think. Perhaps a douse with some mild, soapy water will rinse out the residue, and won't hurt the plants.

A call to the fire brigade might also give you a hint, as to whether they used some sort of fire suppressant rather than just water.

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Name: Gabbydcs
Edinburgh uk
Jul 13, 2016 9:08 AM CST
Thank you, I have watered it every day since it happened. Don't think it was around long as the coward who done it was caught on CCTV and it was seconds before the fire went up and there is no smell of petrol now, will keep watering see how things go. All this rain we are having might help too. Thanks again Thank You!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Jul 14, 2016 7:25 AM CST
Welcome to NGA, @Gabbydcs !

I'm thinking there was probably less damage done by setting fire to the petrol than if it had just been poured into the ground and left; even very small amounts spilled when filling our lawnmower seem to kill the grass and prevent any from returning for quite some time. At any rate, I hope your hedge recovers quickly! Smiling
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