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Help - Escalonia Hedge - I need advice.


By Hev

United Kingdom Gb

I posted a question on 9th December regarding my Escallonia Hedge. It had developed a tiny black spots on almost every leaf with a tiny circle around each leaf. Although new leaves were coming through, they were yellow and most of the old leaves had dropped off. The hedge was at least 15 years old and had been vigourously growing up until about September last year when I noticed the spots. I believe we ruled out frost damage as all the new leaves also had it and it was September. I followed suggestions that it should be cut right back to the roots, but after finding the spots on the new tiny leaves since then I dug the whole lot up. I have now dug all the hedge up except for a few really stubborn parts which I hack at a bit daily. When I dug up the hedge I noticed on one plant a white core running through every branch.
My question is firstly what should I use on the bare ground to kill of anything fungus like which may still be lurking there? The stuff in 2 local garden centres are only sold in small boxes and do not seem to be what I need. The staff also do not seem to have much of a clue what I am talking about.
I have decided to replace it with Laurel, in the hope that a different plant (I believe Laurel is quite hardy), May be a better bet. How do I prepare the soil to give it the best chance. The location is beside a busy main road in Cardiff and I do need a hedge there.
Also - I have noticed these spots have also appeared at the back of the house on a different Escallonia hedge and as this is a good 50 metres away and not connected to the old hedge I am concerned the fungus is airbourne. The plot at the front is north-east facing, on a main road, it has good soil and is about 20ft long by about 2 feet wide. There is a small wall about a foot or so high at the front. DOes anyone know if/where I could send a sample for analysis. I will try to add a photo shortly.

On plant Escallonia.



Hi Hev, sorry that the treatment used did'nt work out. i have had all sorts of problems with black spot this year, and fungal infections, i think due to the damp summer, i have had an on going problem with my Photinia that sounds quite simular. i have been treating with Dithaine, i think you have to keep doing it for it to be effective. keep cutting off infected parts of the plant and treating new growth before the spots appear. i have'nt defeated mine as yet either, but i am confident that i will beat it in the end. But you have already taken the hedge out, and need to treat the be honest Hev not really an expert think you need Dr Bob for this, i will send him a quick message and draw his attention to this...I'd be interested to know myself.

23 Jan, 2009


As you live near Cardiff, I'd suggest contacting your National Botanic Garden there and see if they can give you any advice

23 Jan, 2009


Angie, Bless you, if I thought I was an expert at anything, I would be very happy.
I only have one eye today after an op yesterday, so if I make any boobs on this I apologise.
I would carry on digging out the rest of the hedge, also the other hedge.
Armillatox is now sold as a patio cleaner, drench the whole area with a strong solution, cover with a strip of polythene, 3 weeks later fork over. Then drench, cover and 3 weeks later fork over again, making sure all roots have been cleared.
You will need more soil/compost. Laurel is a good choice for your replacement. By the end of this project you should be very fit.
Getting soil tests can be very expensive and will not solve the problem.
As Andrew says you could check with your National Botanic Garden.
There was a report of a disease affecting Escallonia in 2005.

23 Jan, 2009


i'm finding this very interesting and worrying. my big hedge is leafless at the moment. but i have seen it like this in the winter before. i have just cut the whole thing back by half. the spring will tell.

23 Jan, 2009


Thanks Dr.B, do you think it could be this bad for me too? i did post some pic's of my Photinia a while back, as i remeber Andrew did tell me to send it off, to be honest i did'nt. sorry Andrew :-) - cheesy grin. it was'nt all over the bush, but approx half was affected. i have cut it back, but not to ground level, just what was damaged, then treated with fungicide, and the spots have moved onto the leaves that were previoulsy uneffectied, the new growth has'nt come through yet, so can't tell if on here yet, but in general the plant looks ok, just a bit spotty, would you say to keep cutting back and treating, or do i need to take drastic measures?

23 Jan, 2009


Don't panic, plant diseases are as common to them as our common cold. Some will die, but most will survive.
Leave it until the spring comes and take drastic if your unhappy with your shrub in June.
This also applies to frost damage on half hardy subjects.

23 Jan, 2009


Majeeka I have a photinia which has the same prob as yours-spots ! I had to cut almost all of the leaves off,and fed it with a sea weed based fertilizer.The leaves came back and were healthy. Over winter the same thing has happened.I I will use the sea weed again but it is in a very large pot so think it may be stressed.It would be a heck of a job to take it out so may just have to keep pruning and feeding it !!

23 Jan, 2009


Thanks, i had planned on doing all of the above, but just did'nt want anything nasty making it's way around the garden. it does seem to have plenty on new shoots appearing, so once it warms up a bit will cut off the rest of the damage re-treat and feed, i usually use blood, fish and bone for shrubs in spring, and then we can but see. and sorry to hi-jack your question like this Hev

23 Jan, 2009


Hi Andrew

We, too, have the same mystery disease on our previously healthy escallonia hedge. The hedge faces south and has been marvellous since planting 6 years ago. It has gone down over these last two wet summers and we are desperate to save it. Like you we have other escallonias in a different part of the garden which are also affected and we even noticed some in a garden centre suffering the same problem!!. Our garden centre consulted a "disease expert" and on his advice we tried the following: Bordeaux spray, dithane, epsom salts spray (to replace the magnesium) and a good feed of blood fish and bone. The leaves at the top of the hedge picked up and we had bloom in October last year when the rain finally stopped and the sun shone, but it all looks very bare now that all the yellow and black leaves have dropped off. We are going to try spraying every 2 weeks with dithane and see what results we get. We certainly don’t want to uproot the hedge and are in despair!!1 Can anyone help.


23 Feb, 2009



We have the same problem in Exmouth. Not only does our escallonia hedge exhibit all the symptoms you describe, but so do other escallonia hedges in other gardens nearby. I suspect it's a virus brought on by the very wet summers, so some drier weather might help. I'm not a fan of sprays, so will cut it down severely and clear the ivy growing within. If it shows signs of recovery, loads of compost. If not, a lot of digging and trips to recycling!


17 Mar, 2009

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