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Plant Diseases/dead beech hedging

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QUESTION: An established beech hedge has sections of healthy growing plants and sections of very late to bud but otherwise seemingly healthy plants with some definitely dead ones in between. The dead plants have some external fungus (looks a bit like melted wax)and damage to the bark from ground level upwards for about 8 inches, it is also possible they may have got over wet this winter.No sign of disease on those that are leafing now. I'm wondering which of these is the likely cause of death to prevent further casualties? Many thanks

ANSWER: Hi Debbie;

The waxy substance may be a fungus or insect.  Can you send a photo or two.  One photo showing a part of the hedge with both healthy and sick plants side by side in the same photo from a few feet away.  A second photo- try getting closeup to the waxy stuff.  (Be sure your images are in focus before sending- you can review them on your computer).

You may need to remove the sick ones.  Look for the waxy stuff on any plants that appear healthy.  This may give us an idea if this stuff is present as a secondary problem or primary one.

Steve

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QUESTION: pictures as requested, the fungus is not on all the poorly trees

Answer
Debbie:
THANKS FOR THE PHOTOS! I strongly suspect that this growth looks like a fungus, probably a basidiomycete, is occurring as a secondary invader rather than being the primary issue.  This means that the beech had another issue initially.  Take a look at the lower 2 feet of the trunk on the "sick" plants.  Look for any damage/injury where the bark may have been broken or otherwise not intact.  Sometimes an injury to the bark can cause plant death.

Steve  

Plant Diseases

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Dr Stephen Vann

Expertise

Plant Diseases and Disorders of Lawn Grasses, Trees, Vegetables,and Ornamentals

Experience

Plant Diseases Identification and Management

Education/Credentials
B.S. Botany --- Miss. State Univ. M.S. Plant Pathology --- Miss. State Univ. Ph.D. Plant Pathology --- Texas A & M Univ.

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