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My Hedge is very sick ;-(


By Hev

United Kingdom Gb

I have an Escallonia Hedge. It has been established and vigourous ever since I moved in 15 years ago. However this year most of the leaves have fallen off and although new leaves are trying to come through they are yellow not green and the whole hedge (about 4 plants) has black spots. Can anybody advise the best course of action before I consider pulling it all up and starting again. **** Hi Everyone - thanks for your replies. This is not frost damage as it started in about July. The new leaves coming through also have some spots. I live in Cardiff on a main road so possible pollution but the hedge has been OK for at least 15 years.

On plant Escallonia??




Hi Hev welcome to goy not sure where you are in UK ( perhaps add county and country in profile when you have time) .

Escallonia often recommended for coastal gardens as tolerate salty conditions.This location often reduces the chance of severe frosts which I think may be causing the problem.

The black spots look like scorch marks where frosted leaves thawing quickly and droplets magnified by sun.

Personally doubt a pest or virus causing this in such cold conditions.Would suggest leaving these to protect newer shoots deeper in plant , removing or pruning will expose new tips further.

In milder weather shrub can be clipped once danger of frost passed.A good feed in early spring with tomato food ( great for leaves and shoots ) should help.

9 Dec, 2008


Your last sentence is one option. Another is to cut it down to ground level. Water the area with a fungicide of your choice. In the spring new growth will start appearing. If not dig it out and start again as you said.

9 Dec, 2008


sorry but never seen frost damage that looks like this before, i would have to go with Doctorbob on this one, looks more like a fungal infection, i have had something very simular on my Photinia this year, i removed all infected parts and as DrB has said treated with fungicide, best not to leave it if it is a virus or infection, i would to try to treat it now, also remove any leaves that have fallen around, the base of the plant, if left they could reinfect your plants, then fingers crossed and see what happens in the spring when it puts on new growth.

9 Dec, 2008


Please refer to Rhs web page Frost damage which begins

' Frost damage can often be confused with damage from pests and diseases..... '

Even if this is fungal cutting this plant hard back during severe frosts will almost certainly prove terminal whatever the cause.

9 Dec, 2008


I did'nt say that it was not frost damage, just that i had'nt seen any that looks like this. also never sagested cutting back hard, just removing any infected/damaged parts of the plant, it does'nt actually matter what the cause for this damage is, leaves will not be able to photosynthesize correctly, and will therefore drain energy from the plant, so cutting off any damage is still the best course of action, and i would also still treat with fungicide as there is also no guarentee this is frost damage, and given the fact that the leaves are also pale in colour, i would say it is more likely to be an infection. and best to treat now rather than 'wait and see'

9 Dec, 2008


Hev, you say that this problem has happened this year, if the problem was actually evident before heavy frost, then obvioulsy not due to frost. but either way it certainly won't hert to treat with fungicide, and remove the damage. good luck hope you are able to save it.

9 Dec, 2008


Agreeing totally with Maj. This is not frost damage, definitely a fungus. I have dealt with it several times, I dealt with an Escallonia 5years ago in particular, I cut it right down to ground level, one thick stem. It came back and is now 5ft. tall. I am dealing with this at the moment on a Hebe which is refurbished after being cut to the ground. You need to get rid of the diseased branches and kill the spores on the ground.

10 Dec, 2008


and just to add what DrB has said Hev, you don't have to do this during a continued heavy period of frost if this is a concern, i believe most parts of the UK have rain forcast for next week, so weather should be milder, Bon-Bon's statement that 'cutting back hard during severe frost will almost certainly prove terminal' i think is an overeaction. there is no guanentee that this will kill your plant at all -especially if well established. and the bottom line is the worst case scenario is, if this is fungal and left untreated, not only is it likely to kill the hedge in question, but could also move onto other plants in your garden, so be brave, bite the bullet and take DrB's advice - he has many years of proffessional experience to back up his advice.

10 Dec, 2008


Oops with apologies Hev - sorry if known this happening since summer would not have suggested frost damage.

Unfortunately we do not all have Doctorbobs experience but dont think this should preclude answering as most here only trying to help.

Lesson learned and will wait in future normally can get away with hard pruning in coastal areas as often do not get severe frosts but never seen them quite as hard as recently.Hence my reply , wrong as it turned out - sorry.

Ps wasnt attempting to contradict Doctorbob as answered first.

11 Dec, 2008


Please don't worry, no need to apologise, the question wasn't complete.
My main effort is always to avoid follow on from one diseased plant to another. Keep answering, your opinion is just as valuable as anyones.
Best Wishes.
Dr. Bob.

11 Dec, 2008


Just to confirm what DrB has said, no harm done Bon-Bon, we all have different ideas and opinions, all of which are useful, and should be welcomed - regardless of experience, we can't all be right all of the time, No one has sagested that you were attempting to contradict anyone, we are all just trying to help. and hopefully now Hev, you will know exactly what to do lol - got there in the end.

11 Dec, 2008

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