The Laurel hedge plants at each end of the hedge in my garden are 7 feet
tall but the ones in the middle are only 4 feet and not very bushy,
while some have almost completely died. I've replaced dead plants in the
middle section of the hedge with new plants 3 times over 6 years because
they all died in succession. The hedge has a watering system so they've
definitely had enough water but thinking it could be a drainage problem
on the third occasion I added drainage. Doing this helped the new plants
for a while and they put on 6 inches of growth in the first year,
however this Spring, a year and a half after being planted, three of the
new plants died and now the plants either side are not thriving. These
older plants were 5ft tall when planted and have only put on a foot of
growth in 5 years, they aren't very bushy and on close inspection seem a
little sick. They grew a little earlier this year but the new leaves are
small while some branches have died. I recently dug a 1.5 ft hole in the
garden near the hedge and half filled it with water, it almost
completely drained in 3 hours, so the problem doesn't seem to be
drainage. The hedge is 13 years old and overall is a nice deep green
colour and the plants at either end are doing well, it's just the middle
section approximately 16 metres long which isn't. The problem isn't food
and they definitely have enough water and drainage doesn't seem to be
the cause. Thinking a disease might be responsible, I dug up one of the
dead plants and the roots were fine and well developed - I broke a fork
trying to get it out!
All of the hedges belonging to my neighbours which face the road are
also not doing brilliantly, so it seems it might be something to do with
the road. The road however is separated from the hedge by a public
footpath and a green verge and new trees planted on the verge by the
council are doing alright.
I really need a mature hedge to give me privacy and I am thinking about
having mature 2m plants put in which will cost approximately £5000.00.
Naturally I want to minimise the chance that these new expensive plants
will die and wondered if anyone knew of an expert I could pay to
identify the problem and suggest a solution.