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I first queried this last summer when the shrub appeared to be covered in some sort of infestation, I've tried spraying and also completely drenched the shrub but as you'll see in the following pics,( bottom two taken today) its not improved and many of the lower branches are dying and snapping off in the wind, I'm wondering do you think its worth trying to cut the shrub right down and seeing if it will sprout new growth, if so when??? or do I completely remove and count it as a loss......All advice will be greatly appreciated.

Garden20131054_54_poorly_busk Img_0001 Img_0003



Do you know what shrub this is? If I look at the top leaves and the way they're growing, it appears to be some kind of Hebe,or possibly Euonymus, but I'm not sure. If it is Euonymus, it may have suffered a serious attack of Euonymus scale - check to see if whatever you sprayed with treats for that. The treatment used to be with malathion (now no longer available) and any spray for this is best applied in early spring, when the nymphs are newly hatched and at their most vulnerable. The adult females over winter on the stems, and left untreated, plants do exactly what this one has done - die back.

Given that its now rather ugly in shape, I'd be inclined (assuming it is Euonymus) to wait till April, cut it right back and let it grow again, being sure to treat for euonymus scale (regardless of whether its visible) between then and May. I'll have a look and see if I can find a suitable pesticide to use...

6 Jan, 2014


Its a Euonymus Bamboo and up until last summer was in very good condition and a lovely global shape.. Thankyou....

6 Jan, 2014


I'd confirm Euonymus scale then - its fairly obvious from the photos you posted in August last year.
The RHS has a page on this, but you have to google 'treatment for Euonymus scale UK' and it should come up. Not usually a problem other than in the south, but these days with climate change, all bets are off.

Recommendation is to spray twice a year - I'd go for Bayer Ultimate Fruit and Vegetable Bug Killer, spray in early June and again early September. There are systemic ones which are slightly more effective (Scots BugClear Ultra for fruit and flowers, or Bayer Provado Ultimate Bug Killer) but these both contain neonicotinoids which disrupt bee colonies. I'm pretty sure both these will be withdrawn within the next year or two, but used correctly (right dose, right time) preferably in the evening when bees aren't working, and being careful not to spray anything else, they may be the most effective.

6 Jan, 2014


You're a gem Bamboo, thankyou so much, I'll leave it alone for now then, the good thing is that so far I have nothing else thats been affected by it.....

6 Jan, 2014


I have some bits of that shrub rooted against a fence, they are ok at the moment. Wonder if its better growing low down ?

7 Jan, 2014


Lincslass - Euonymus scale is a big problem on Euonymus, but not on other plants, so you needn't worry about cross infection. The most susceptible Euonymus are E. japonica varieties.
Diane: not sure what you're asking? Do you mean growing further away from the fence and not against it? If you do, yes, should be at least a foot away from a fence, preferably more.

7 Jan, 2014


The bits I stuck in are against the fence, seem happy enough. Maybe it protects them. Time will tell.

7 Jan, 2014


Yes i agree with bamboo that is definitely scale, this year it has been a huge problem, have noticed this on quite a few specimens on my rounds, and having sprayed them with bugclear they have still died back, some have died back badly in parts and on these hard pruning to the ground has been carried out and no new growth has appeared so these were taken out, i must add though that these were very old euonymous that were clipped into large topiary balls, size 6ftx6ft, however on smaller specimans similar to yours having been cut back to the ground some but not all have responded, if it were me i would hard prune it in the spring and wait and see before taking it out, also if it does respond or you choose to buy another then keep a look out for the scale it can be very difficult to see but by using a strong magnifying glass you can see them quite clearly.

7 Jan, 2014


Thankyou Julian, I am determined to give it a chance so will wait until April, its a shame as it was a favourite of mine so will get another if I cannot rescue this one.....

7 Jan, 2014

How do I say thanks?

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