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By Petera

United Kingdom Gb

We have a number of evergreen plants where all the leaves have turned brown and died (bay, eculyptus, hebe, privet (standalone, not hedge), rosemary). Could this be disease ( it appears to affect first one plant then another), environmental (we have issue) or frost damage (although they seem to have survived the frost but show damage afterwards)?
My father in law (a retired farmer) has suggetsed checking the roots to see if the heavy frost (followed by quite dry weather) has affected the roots. Though I'm not sure exactly how to do this. When I have cut back the leaves on the bay an eculyptus the main stems seem healthy enough.
I am the novice gardening in the family, my wife is more the expert, but this has upset her as it has affected some of our more prized plants.

Thanks for any help, Peter



What do you mean by "environmental (we have issue)" precisely, Petera? Are you suggesting that you're aware there might be an environmental issue that could be a problem for your plants? Do you live near fields which are sprayed? Because an obvious explanation would be spray drift killing leaves, particularly if the stems on the plants are okay. It is extremely unlikely to be cold or frost or snow which has caused this trouble on all this wide range of plants.

15 May, 2010


Hi Bamboo,
Thanks for your comments. Firstly, we are in the hills and there are fileds nearby.The potential enviromental issue that we have is that last October a nearby polymer factor caught fire an exploded and over the last few months contarctors have been demolishing it. Myself and neighbours have reported various ill effects (sore throats, a metallic taste in the mouth gasping for breath and so forth). This have been reported to our enviromental dept, but we have been told that the only issue is a fine dust (which appears over surfaces. I am about to undergoe some tests at my doctors next week.
This morning I decided that the plants could do with a good watering (since this would not do any harm. I noticed that the air seemed fresher when I did this, I even sprayed the water over the plants.
We have been told there is no chemical issue, but I agree with you that evidence on th eplants suggests otherwise.
Any suggestions?
Best regards,


15 May, 2010


I think contact with the Environmental Health department regarding the die back of your plants, together with the symptoms you're all experiencing, and the presence of this "dust" is necessary - seems odd all these things are happening, and perhaps they are linked. Also, what's in this "dust" - are they saying its inert, or non toxic? Otherwise, if the fields are nearby, it is entirely possible that their early spring application of roundup or similar before sowing could conceivably have drifted onto your plants, but I think pressing the Environmental Health department re the state of your plants, combined with all the rest, might be a way to proceed. They should be able to establish whether its possible spray drift too - if they have the staff available.

15 May, 2010


Thanks for your help. Sorry I meant to say there are no fields nearby.

There does seem to be something wrong - I feeal very weird after doing some work in the garden today.

So far the duet has been said to be non-toxic.

15 May, 2010

How do I say thanks?

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