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Does anyone know anything about laurel hedges(prunus laurercerous, I think)?
I planted a long hedge about 30 years ago and generally it has been magnificent albeit high maintenance during its annual pruning. Lately some of the hedge plants have looked a bit ‘ill’ ( poor growth, yellowing of some leaves). I have noticed a pale blue powder like fungus at the base of those shrubs. What is it? Is it treatable? Is this beginning of the end for my beautiful hedge? Is it contagious to the rest of the hedge shrubs? Photos attached. Any help or useful comments would be very welcome. Thanks

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has the soil had any nutrients added to it over the last 30 yrs? that could account for the yellowing. as for the pale blue powder, they do suffer from powdery mildew

Why not ask the RHS advisory service they are very helpful.
look at their link below

16 Jun, 2020


It looks like lichen, to me. Harmless in itself, but tends to show up more when the stems and bark aren't growing well.. What are those gray lumps on the soil just under the edge of the hedge, though? They look like lumps of fertilizer, lime, or even concrete. Is there recent construction in the area?

17 Jun, 2020


Tugbrehil, Many thanks for taking the trouble to reply. Your comments re lichen are very encouraging and give me hope that some of my beautiful laurel shrubs are not on a steady diseased decline.
The grey lumps are part of the concrete anchors that support wooden fence posts that have been in situ for 35 years and support a 4' high wooden fence that surrounds my rear garden.
Do you have any ideas of what would constitute a good feed for the shrubs to give them a helping hand back to good health?
Also, should I leave the lichen alone or clear it from the shrub bases? If so, how?
Thanks again.

17 Jun, 2020


No need to remove the lichen, As for feeding, the best thing in the long run is to apply a good rich compost once or twice a year, but that may take a year or two to show full results. Growmore would be a good quick fix to start, with compost to follow as maintenance.
If it went 30 years with no problems, and trouble is just now showing, I would look for recent changes. Was the concrete put in recently, rather than 35 years ago? Or any other recent changes?

17 Jun, 2020


Thanks for all your helpful comments. I'm off to get some Growmore and compost. There have been no recent changes and I put the problems down to old age.

18 Jun, 2020


Could be old age, as you say. I seem to remember mention of hedges more than a hundred years old, but those are all boxwood, beech, and yew, to my recollection. I have no idea how long a cherry laurel will live! :)

18 Jun, 2020

How do I say thanks?

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