Loss of Shrubs

Asked February 18, 2019, 3:57 PM EST

Hello, Wanted to make sure there was no disease that may have been going around. By Spring, we will probably have lost a number of shrubs (viburnums, aucuba, evergreen tree). We have had more standing water then we have ever seen in 20 years. We assume that is the cause but wanted to check.

Baltimore County Maryland trees and shrubs cherry laurel dieback aucuba

1 Response

Many insect and disease issues are host specific. However, it is possible that standing water may have contributed to the decline of the plants. Woody plants in general grow best in a well drained soil.

Left photo - We notice azaleas in the front border and cherry laurels in the back.
It looks like there may be some life to them. Wait until spring to see if they will recover and put out new growth. You can scratch the branches with your fingernail and look for green tissue. If you see green, the branch is viable.

Middle photo - We cannot identify the tree accurately. This tree will not regain its former glory and you will have to remove it. See our web page on When to Remove a Tree. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/how-do-you-decide-when-remove-tree

Right photo - Aucuba - Looks like possible cold damage, poor drainage, etc. Wait until spring to assess winter damage and prune damaged branches.