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Old 02-24-2021, 11:11 PM
 
232 posts, read 558,388 times
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I've got these shrubs near my driveway that are supposed to provide some privacy I believe.

The lawn care company started calling me last year trying to upsell me on shrub service saying if i don't address the fungus, the shrubs will die soon. I ignored them thinking if there is a true problem i can take care of it myself. I have applied some neem oil to the shrubs using a gallon sprayer, maybe 3 or 4 treatments over the past 8 months. i can't really tell if it has helped.

First, can anyone tell me the name of the shrubs?

Second, what exactly do the shrubs have? Is it fungus? Mites? Aphids?

Third, how can i treat the problem?

This is in northern georgia where it gets hot and humid. I don't know if this has anything to do with it but the shrubs sit on top of some mulch. The mulch is crusty and was molded and there was some artillery fungus. Maybe it was a bad batch of mulch the landscaper installed but that's a different story. I plan to replace the mulch with fresh mulch this year and/or at least turn the mulch over weekly to air it out.

Thanks.
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Shrubs Dying?-sh2.jpg   Shrubs Dying?-sh3.jpg   Shrubs Dying?-sh4.jpg  
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
41,422 posts, read 51,287,488 times
Reputation: 71764
If your lawn service told you you have a fungus, I guess you probably do. I would treat them with a systemic fungicide, according to package instructions, and also clean up any diseased leaves or branches around them.
Here is one example...
https://www.yourplantdoctor.com/orga...mic-fungicide/

I’m not sure about your mulch being a problem. Mulch is supposed to decompose and enrich the soil. It might just be breaking down normally.
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:34 AM
 
1,977 posts, read 799,013 times
Reputation: 2669
It looks like a Ligustrum japonicum, also called a wax-leaf privet or Japanese privet. Go online and see the flowers of the plant and if they look like the flowers this plant has.

If it is a Ligustrum japonicum, this condition is endemic and common. Ligustrum japonicum is robust and can take a severe pruning which might make it easier to then spray and then recover.

Ask your extension agent about what to do. I live with it on mine, the plant is so robust. It may make little sense to spend a lot of $ on it if its around the area and if the spores are carried on the wind a long way from a neighbor's plant.

It might be prudent to think about replacing them with something like a holly or chindo viburnum and make a border of mixed shrubs so if there is a disease, they all don't get the problem.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
41,422 posts, read 51,287,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webster View Post
It looks like a Ligustrum japonicum, also called a wax-leaf privet or Japanese privet. Go online and see the flowers of the plant and if they look like the flowers this plant has.

If it is a Ligustrum japonicum, this condition is endemic and common. Ligustrum japonicum is robust and can take a severe pruning which might make it easier to then spray and then recover.

Ask your extension agent about what to do. I live with it on mine, the plant is so robust. It may make little sense to spend a lot of $ on it if its around the area and if the spores are carried on the wind a long way from a neighbor's plant.

It might be prudent to think about replacing them with something like a holly or chindo viburnum and make a border of mixed shrubs so if there is a disease, they all don't get the problem.
It looks like 3 different types of bushes to me. One looks like a holly. I agree about the ligustrum.

Last edited by gentlearts; 02-25-2021 at 08:10 AM..
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:14 PM
 
232 posts, read 558,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webster View Post
It looks like a Ligustrum japonicum, also called a wax-leaf privet or Japanese privet. Go online and see the flowers of the plant and if they look like the flowers this plant has.

If it is a Ligustrum japonicum, this condition is endemic and common. Ligustrum japonicum is robust and can take a severe pruning which might make it easier to then spray and then recover.

Ask your extension agent about what to do. I live with it on mine, the plant is so robust. It may make little sense to spend a lot of $ on it if its around the area and if the spores are carried on the wind a long way from a neighbor's plant.

It might be prudent to think about replacing them with something like a holly or chindo viburnum and make a border of mixed shrubs so if there is a disease, they all don't get the problem.
so do a major pruning and spray with fungicide?

are you familiar with neem oil? is this as good as fungicide?
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:48 AM
 
1,977 posts, read 799,013 times
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Personally, I'd prune way back, spray with a fungicide and see what happens. If its endemic to the area, it will come back. There was a time where I live where these were planted all over the place, too many in fact since they grow fast and hence the disease.

I have used neem oil but only for aphids. The problem with fungus is it can be airborne in the area and even in the soil. If you prune, put the cuttings in a bag and throw away, rake away fallen dead leaves and clean the pruning tools with bleach after the work is done.

I only have one Ligustrum japonica that I care about, I am weaving its stems/trucks into knots for fun as it becomes a small tree (google "tree shaping" for an idea). That's how much abuse it can take.

There are some new varieties of ligustrum that do well in the south. The new varieties don't self seed and some are variegated.

Here are some options if you can't save the ligustrum:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYnqFPSPlBs

Last edited by webster; 02-27-2021 at 04:59 AM..
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
41,422 posts, read 51,287,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc2020 View Post
so do a major pruning and spray with fungicide?

are you familiar with neem oil? is this as good as fungicide?
I believe Neem Oil works by smothering insects like scale, etc. it is not a fungicide.

I would not do a major pruning. Just cut off any dead or bad branches. Pruning encourages growth, so let the plant recover before you force it to put out new growth. The damaged leaves will eventually fall off anyway.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:15 AM
Status: "Vaccinated" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Directly over the center of the earth
187 posts, read 38,946 times
Reputation: 372
A professional told you what the issue was. You chose to take care of things yourself. Things didn't work out well. The lesson here is let professionals do their job.
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Old 02-27-2021, 11:15 AM
 
Location: B.C.
10,706 posts, read 8,883,518 times
Reputation: 23484
OP, your ligustrum/privets look like they have either cercospora or else pseudocercospora fungal blight. It's a contagious air-borne and water-borne fungal leaf-spot blight that is very common on privets. In your case I'd say your privets probably got it because your plants are overcrowded, poorly aerated plantings. They need to be thinned out and opened up somewhat to allow more air circulation to prevent water / too much humidity from promoting the fungus.

Any fungicides that are effective on cercospora can't get rid of the fungus on already stricken parts of the plant. But applications used preventatively ahead of new growth can help to protect healthy leaves and any new growing leaves to prevent them from being attacked.

Neem is not a good enough fungicide. Here is some information about cercospora with a bunch of fungicides listed that may be used on it with some degree of success. https://www.clemson.edu/public/regul...pora-leaf.html

Based on what you've described about the overall unhealthy sounding conditions of the area/soil/mulch I'm inclined to suggest the privets should be yanked out and disposed of, and the whole area cleaned up and sanitized as much as possible before re-planting some different kinds of plants there. Don't put privets there again, new ones could be infected too because you can't totally get rid of that fungus out of the soil. Instead put in some new plants that are resistant or not effected by cercospora.

.

Last edited by Zoisite; 02-27-2021 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 03-07-2021, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Between Heaven And Hell.
11,824 posts, read 8,209,399 times
Reputation: 15205
I'm just going to suggest treating with copper sulfate, and a few doses of sequestered iron and plant tonic.
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