Sexy web cambs

06 May

Do not prune other than to remove any dead or damaged branches. The box cuttings I took last autumn and have kept in an unheated greenhouse still have no roots. The green foliage was turning grey and brown and collapsing in a mouldy mess.Otherwise unaffected leaves were showing chocolate coloured stains.Badly affected hedges are being dug up and burnt - the work of 15 years going up in flames.

Sexy web cambs-41Sexy web cambs-78

But two years ago I noticed one area had started to die back. Peach trees usually fruit after three to five years. The plants of a pleached hedge should be placed at 2m (6ft 6in) intervals, then trained onto a wire or bamboo structure.

They need to be in well-drained, fertile soil in the sunniest position possible. Cuttings taken last autumn will not show any growth until this spring. Keep clipping the sides hard to encourage lateral growth, then tie this into the supporting structure.

Mulch liberally each spring with garden compost and water generously once a week. Leave them in the pots until September, by which time they should have formed roots. It takes about ten years to achieve a fully formed pleached hornbeam hedge.

From the first patch I noticed in September 2012 the blight has ripped through our box hedges, leaving the crisp green ravaged with bare, brown patches.

Some of these will regrow but will almost certainly be hit again in a cycle that will eventually kill the plants.