I have a seven year old privet hedge, which has previously grown well,
and in every winter save for this last one has held on to most of its
leaves. This year it lost every leaf, and although about half of the
plants are sprouting replacements quite nicely, the remainder is still
without any foliage or green buds at all. I've cut into a number of
branches, but instead of being nice and green immediately under the bark
like the healthy ones are, they're brown instead. The same branches are,
though, light green in colour at their very centres.
I've kept the hedge well watered over the past month or so, and given it
a feed, but I would have expected all the plants to be springing back
into leaf by now, especially with all of the warm weather. Does it sound
as though many of them are dead (or possibly well on their way there)?
If not, how long before they should start showing some sign of new
growth? Also, would it be a good idea to cut them back hard now?
Many thanks for any advice.