Euonymus k. 'Manhattan' Snowballing Death
Homeowner has removed four large Eunoymus Manhattans along his hedge all with the same symptoms. Shrubs have been in the ground for over 10 years, uncertain after that. No scale is present, and is treated by reputable company. What are your thoughts?
We don't see any disease or pest signs. We recommend pruning out the affected branches at their base to see if that halts the progression of symptoms.
However, what's occurring is probably an environmental problem. We see mulch along the hedge line, but we cannot see how deep it is. Mulch should not be touching or piled on the woody stems and trunks of shrubs or trees. Pull back mulch smothering the base of the shrubs and keep it a couple of inches back.
Also, look for vole holes in the mulch. One photo may show evidence (tunnel holes) of the presence of voles. Voles will gnaw on the bark at the base of plants and also eat the roots. Search voles on our website for vole control help.
The way the shrubs are dying back points to a problem at the root or ground level. Take a good look there. Be sure the soil has not been contaminated with herbicide use nearby or excessive salt use.