Shrub

Asked August 3, 2019, 11:45 AM EDT

What is killing this shrub

Baltimore County Maryland aucuba abiotic issues shrub aucuba turning black and dying

2 Responses

This appears to be an aucuba shrub. Their leaves always turning an alarming black when they die. We can't see any particular disease or insect on the remaining foliage at the top or bottom of the shrub. This indicates that the cause of the dying is abiotic (not caused by a living organism) or cultural.

We do notice that the lawn is exceptionally weed free, which usually requires a lot of herbicide use. There are some herbicides (weed killers) which either easily blow onto unwanted plants when it is breezy, or the herbicides evaporate and float onto other plants. It may be that herbicides used nearby killed the shrub.

If the shrub happens to be growing in a spot where water sat for long periods in last year's rains, it is possible the roots drown. If so, evergreens usually don't show the extent of the damage until weather gets hot in summer.

Ellen


This appears to be an aucuba shrub. Their leaves always turning an alarming black when they die. We can't see any particular disease or insect on the remaining foliage at the top or bottom of the shrub. This indicates that the cause of the dying is abiotic (not caused by a living organism) or cultural.

We do notice that the lawn is exceptionally weed free, which usually requires a lot of herbicide use. There are some herbicides (weed killers) which either easily blow onto unwanted plants when it is breezy, or the herbicides evaporate and float onto other plants. It may be that herbicides used nearby killed the shrub.

If the shrub happens to be growing in a spot where water sat for long periods in last year's rains, it is possible the roots drown. If so, evergreens usually don't show the extent of the damage until weather gets hot in summer.

Ellen