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3 Reasons Why Your Beech Hedge is Dying

A lot of homeowners, when wanting to provide some extra privacy for their households and also to add a touch of class to their gardens, opt to grow Beech hedges.

Besides hiding you from unwanted looks, Beech hedge can also spice up your outdoor space with its rich and fluttery foliage, whose bright green leaves turn to beautiful orange and brown shades in the autumn.

An added benefit is that Beech hedge is easy to grow, even for beginners, and rather hardy with only a few known issues.

Nevertheless, some of these problems can lead to serious damage to the plane and even result in Beech hedge dying.

This can be rather stressful, especially after watching it grow to reach its full glory and beauty.

Below, I’ll discuss the most common issues that you may run into while growing Beech hedge and explain how they influence plants’ health and growth.

Beech Hedge Dying – The Reasons And How To Save It

While there are not many issues that can cause Beech hedges to die off or do severe damage to their health, they still have to be taken seriously.

Most of these complications occur while the plant is still young, as mature Beech hedges are much less sensitive.

So, you’ll have to pay particular attention while your plant is still growing.

Learning about what causes of these problems can help you identify what’s going on with your plant and decide on the appropriate course of action to remedy it.

The sooner you act, the bigger chances your Beech Hedge will have to survive and get back to full health.

To help you out, here’s a list of the most common issues with Beech hedges and ways to prevent and deal with them.

Beech Woolly Aphid

This aphid pest is one of the most common problems you may face while growing a Beech hedge.

It’s a pest that specifically affects Beech hedges and is commonly active between late spring and midsummer.

They also lay eggs that stay dormant until the next spring. You can easily identify that your plant has been attacked by Wooly Aphid.

The white fluff, similar to cotton wool, found on the undersides of leaves is a sure sign of the presence of this pest.

These yellow-colored aphids hide beneath this protective layer and feed on the tree sap.

They secrete sugary and sticky honeydew that can lead to the secondary fungal infection known as Sooty mold.

These pests can’t do much damage to a full-grown and well-established Beech hedge, they can be a real problem for younger plants that have been recently planted, even causing them to die.

How to Save the Plant?

Treating Beech Woolly aphids is rather difficult, especially when they attack fully-grown plants, with large and established foliage.

As the only way to manage them is to use chemicals, it would require full coverage, which is kind of tricky when the beech already has rich and dense foliage and is fully grown.

In the case of the younger Beech hedges, an insecticide should solve the problem, but you have to always be on the lookout for the sign of Woolly aphid infestation and act as soon as the pests appear.

Honey Fungus

Honey Fungus is one of the most common issues for various types of trees and shrubs.

These fungi spread through the soil and can be very destructive, even causing the plant to die.

They disrupt the common balance symbiosis between the tree and fungus, taking much more from the plant than they give back.

Over time, the affected Beech hedge will become weaker, the foliage will become paler, and the growth will be severely stunted.

Weakened plants are much less resistant to heat and other adverse weather conditions, and the stress they experience may often cause them to die.

Because Honey fungus moves through the soil, it can be difficult to spot the infection, especially as it moves through black rhizomorphs.

At the later stages of infections, the fungi can be found under the bark of diseased shrubs and trees.

How to Save the Plant?

Currently, there are no chemical methods available to stop Honey fungus.

However, there are some other things you can do that can help you manage the infection.

One of the methods you can use is to create a physical barrier in the soil, made of impenetrable and strong material, to stop the fungus from advancing through the ground.

The barrier should be at the depth of at least 20 inches.

Also, once you know there’s an infection, you can remove the topsoil and all the infected tree material, including roots and stumps.

You should do this to a depth of around 20 inches.

Frost Damage

Young Beech hedges, which are not yet well-established in the soil, are also prone to frost damage.

They are particularly vulnerable at the time when there leaves are just emerging. Sudden spring frosts can damage the plant, and, in more severe cases, cause it to die.

The leaves affected by the frosting turn brown, shrivel, and can no longer properly perform their function.

The good news is that Beech hedges commonly come quite late into the leaf, so this occurs rather rarely.

How to Save the Plant?

As you can’t just simply move the Beech hedge to a warmer spot, there’s really not much that you can do.

Still, unless the temperatures are extremely low, the plant will likely recover on its own and start growing secondary foliage within a few weeks.


If you take good care of your Beech hedge, it can live for a very long time, most likely outsurviving you and your family.

The best thing about this plant is that there’s not much hard work involved.

Moderate fertilizing and regular yearly trimming should be more than enough to provide your Beech hedge with a long and healthy life.

Still, you should always keep an eye out for potential issues.

While infections and diseases are rare, if they’re not dealt with on time, they can cause significant damage and even kill this beautiful plant.

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