Plant with dead spots

Asked April 2, 2020, 12:54 PM EDT

Please see attached picture these dead spots are showing up since winter on several evergreen plants any idea what this is or what i can do? I attached a pic. Thanks!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

We can't the leaves clearly enough to be sure what plant it is, but we suspect it is a Japanese holly. (You can look at images online to verify.)

The pattern of the dieback suggests a root rot. Since a downspout is nearby, it may be keeping the soil too wet in that area for a Japanese maple. We had root-drowning rain from 2018 through spring 2019. (Then, to add insult to injury, terrible drought late summer-fall last year, which would have been tough on them.)

Prune out all the dead growth. You can't "cure" the root rot. Hopefully it still has plenty of healthy roots left, and it will put out new growth to cover the bare areas.

Be sure to never put mulch ON a plant's stem or trunk. (This goes for all plants.) Keep it back a few inches. Let air circulate under those shrubs.