Root aphids on shrubs?

Asked May 6, 2019, 10:26 AM EDT

Hi I am seeing shrubs get sick. Yellow and brown leaves, lack of new growth. First one bush last year (some variety of Bay?) this year its worse. Scary thing is the bush next to it (spruce or yew?) seems to be dying suddenly this spring after a decent season last year. No insects found on either under a microscope. Both were well established plants. Adjacent hemlocks were wetted with “Bonide systemic insect control” 2 seasons ago. 3rd bush (another spruce/yew) is thriving even tho it abuts and touches infected neighbor! Roots show thin white fibers when I made a shallow inspection of the soil. Surrounding Azeleas blooming beautifully and yard appears quite healthy with noted exceptions. Some small trees were removed recently so sunlight is more plentiful. Drainage seems ok. I am left wondering if the roots are being attacked. PlanetNatural.com suggests beneficial nematodes. What to do? Running out of time! Please help Sincerely, Rich T

Baltimore Maryland shrubs abiotic issues

1 Response

Most likely you are dealing with symptoms of the excessive rainfall we had last year. So much rain led to root problems in some types of plants -- and we have seen a lot of problems with Yews and other evergreens in particular. Yews do not handle wet soil and many have turned brown/died over the last year, even in plant nurseries. If you do not see healthy new growth on your shrubs, you should consider replacement. You are welcome to send us photos if you want us to look at symptoms, but your description sounds like an environmental issue -- not a pest or disease.

Christa