Why Are The Tips Of My House Plants Turning Brown Why Has My Leyland Cypress Hedge Developed Large Brown Areas and What Can I Do About Them?

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Why Has My Leyland Cypress Hedge Developed Large Brown Areas and What Can I Do About Them?

Problems with brown spots on Leyland Cypress hedges are common. Hedges that have grown happily for years will develop brown spots that can vary from a few inches to several feet. Fence owners are then faced with a dilemma. Can the fence be maintained or improved, or should it be removed entirely?

The Royal Horticultural Society notes that there are two main causes of these patches – aphids and fungal diseases. Aphid damage develops in late spring and summer, and although it can develop at any height, it is most often found at the base of hedges. Browning can develop long after the sap has left the leaves. RHS shows that if an aphid attack is detected early, spraying can be effective and new green shoots can regrow. As a rule, the growth of new green shoots on the trunks of brown conifers is slow, if it occurs at all.

Fungal disease is also a common cause of brown patches. Overzealous cutting of a hedge, especially when the hedge is stressed, can increase the chance of death. They note that cutting in April, June and August is safer than in autumn. They recommend not pruning during particularly hot or dry periods or in the fall, and never cutting back old wood, but only outer growth. By old wood, they mean deeper penetration into the body of the fence. It is recommended to feed and mulch the hedge in late winter in preparation for spring growth.

With an established barrier, there may not be anything significant to remove brown patches, and the plants may need to be removed entirely. Replacing removed plants can be a difficult task because the roots of the old hedge are extensive and they remove most of the nutrients from the ground for too much space around them. Removing the hedge completely and replacing the surrounding soil is the best way to provide a suitable environment for the new hedge to grow. This may require the use of a mini-digger and may involve professional landscapers. As a substitute, you should consider hardy evergreen hedges such as Daphne, Portuguese Laurel, or Western Red Cedar, which grow relatively quickly. Ivy screens are an option where you need an evergreen trellis/hedge solution that stays at around 2m. Yews can also thrive and provide wonderful formal hedges long into the future. All Leyland Cypresses suffer from the same problems they are prone to.

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