June 2, 2011 4:23 PM Subscribe
Why is this privet hedge dying?
posted by bad grammar to home & garden (7 answers total)
The hedge is about 4' tall and consists of approximately 15 plants. They were cut back severely several years ago and grew back, but this year all the plants seem to be dying, having failed to leaf out this spring and in most places reduced to bare twigs.
The garden belongs to my parents who live in a suburb in one of the mid-Atlantic states of the USA (to localize your answers). The hedge is quite exposed; since two major trees were cut down ten years ago or so, there is little or no shade. Mulch and black tarp were laid down under the privets two years ago and the mulch was replaced last year. Three small dogwood and cherry trees were planted next to the hedge several years ago; they are still little more than saplings.
Are the privets simply not getting enough water, are the new trees competing too much, or have the privets caught a disease from the mulch, or have they reached the end of their natural lifespan (having been there as long as I can remember, +30 years)?
Should we attempt to replace them? Boxwood is not an option as my father hates the odor of boxwood.