Shrubs dying

Asked May 7, 2018, 8:52 AM EDT

March 13 I had mulch put around my house in flower beds and along driveway. I now have approximately 12 dying bushes. Why would this happen? I saw what might be termites in bed at driveway then they were gone. Could this mulch be infested? Concerned now about my house. Please need help. I have enclosed pictures. Please email me as soon as you can.

Howard County Maryland shrubs hollies decline

9 Responses

We cannot say for sure what is going on. The plants look like they may be a type of holly. This winter has been tough on plants. It has been cold with fluctuating temperatures and dry. The plant on the left looks like an older plant. We recommend that you lightly prune the plants and look for some new growth. Prune dead wood. Make sure the mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the stems.

Termites must live in a moist environment, so they cannot survive in mulch once it is spread and gets dry (assuming it is not a foot deep.) They dry out and die. They should not have been able to spread with the mulch. Usually mulch piles are not damp enough to have termites. It's more common for termites to show up in an old bag of mulch, because the plastic bag keeps moisture levels high enough inside to be attractive to them. Same solution in that case--spread the mulch thinly. )

You can send us additional photos if you notice additional symptoms.

mh

Thank you for your response. They are definitely boxwood plants. There are 2 other different plants that are also dieing and a holly tree. I am at a loss

I have attached pictures of other scrubs. Could Snapshot or Round up pesticide have caused this?

I apologize. I've enclosed more pics of a tree that's been affected. What are all these white/green things. I have lots around tree and have found some on mulch in other places. Hopefully this will give you more information on what's happening. Thank you so much!

I apologize. I've enclosed more pics of a tree that's been affected. What are all these white/green things. I have lots around tree and have found some on mulch in other places. Hopefully this will give you more information on what's happening. Thank you so much!

I apologize. I've enclosed more pics of a tree that's been affected. What are all these white/green things. I have lots around tree and have found some on mulch in other places. Hopefully this will give you more information on what's happening. Thank you so much!

Your shrubs have a lot of winter damage from our severe winter temperatures. Prune out dead branches. Do not prune until new growth starts to show on the shrub, so you can see what is alive and what needs pruning off. If you are not sure if a branch is dead, scratch the bark. Green underneath means it is alive--gray or brown means it is dead.

The white particles appear to be petals that have fallen or blown in from nearby.

ECN

Thank you so much for all your help. I have had landscapers come in with so many different reasons. The latest today, deer definitely eating the holly bushes and surprised they have not touched the azeleas, which they eat also. Yesterday, use holly tone fertilizer to bring it all back. Hummm, branches on bottom of shrubs are dead, dead, miracle if they came back. Again thank you for all your help and advice.