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What happened to this bush?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Kejabe, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,289

    americanlawn is right. Obviously a root issue. Probably poor install. Not root scorned properly or installed too deep and crown not getting enough air. Do not just replace as suggested by prior post. You should be able to explain the cultural issues which caused the death. It's cut and dry, very obvious. If you just replace it you could be lassoed into replacing everything that's not your fault. No disrespect but if you can not explain this simple issue you need higher education in your profession. You also should have noticed the decline as it was occurring. It was not overnight and probably started on the outer branch tips. I'll even bet with little effort you can pull it right out of it's spot. Do this in front of the customer to prove the root issue. It will be obvious. Properly rooted plants can't be pulled out by hand in most situations. It may even break off at the crown. All this will show cultural issues. ( Not your fault ) unless you installed it.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I agree wholeheartedly that a higher education in horticulture is necessary, even when 'just squirt&fert' is your primary...
    I can't think of a scenario in which lawn chemicals would cause this situation...
  3. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    What kind of bush is it? Was it recently planted? Did the bush wither all at

    Fungus, rot, boring insects, ph imbalance (unless extreme), lack of proper aeration or nutrients, excess (or inadequate) water, heat would probably cause a nominally slow decline and probably affect bordering plants as well. This sucker looks like it just died all at once; and none of the neighboring plants look affected.

    My guess is that, if it was recently transplanted, overly aggresive root pruning and improper planting. If not, chemical.
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,353

    Looks like a burning bush.

    If it was drift, the weigela next to it, the rose, etc would also be showing some damage.

    Spider mites--although it usually doesn't look like that--can damage a burning bush, once again, assuming that's what it is.

    Too much water?

    Looks like it might be at the end of a porch, did someone dump some cleaning water near the bush?

    Get a soil probe and check around the bush--too wet or too dry.

    Keep us informed.
  5. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 984

    looks like the OP checked out on us. Hit and run.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    My 2 cents .... there nothing obvious about the cause of this die back. It could be due to any one or combination of numerous biotic and/or abiotic issues.
  7. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,289

    Such a diversification of opinions. What do you do next. I suggest pulling it up. Should be easy. My bet is still root issues and buried too deep. Not insect or chemical burn. There are not many mysteries that happen. Help close this thread. If it's lack of water or too much water or too deep. These issues still point to root issues.
  8. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    With a smile on your face replace the shrub. Then send samples of roots, trunk, and foliage to plant diagnostic lab at your expense without telling your client you are doing so.

    When the resutls come back, show them to her even if they point to a misapplication (highly unlikely). Either way you have proven yourself to be a professional who cares about your clients. She will cetainly this tell to the 500 people she knows. She may even offer to pay for the shrub & lab.

    You will also know more about shrub death than you did before and how to go about diagnosing other problems.
  9. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,378

    Looks like a burning bush to me and they don't like 3 way.;) I just barely hit one last Spring with Triplet, within 2days I had leaves drying up just like the picture and eventuly lost most of the leaves but it did come back. I'm not saying that the posters problem is chemical related but it can be, even though the other plant material in the bed is fine. Doesn't take much chemical to harm burning bushes.
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,216

    Is the site irrigated?
    The bush appears to be almost 18 inches from the grass. Using a Chemlawn gun you would have to be extremely clumsy to damage a bush so far from the grass. What kind of equipment were you using? Skid sprayer at 2 gal per K? Backpack? Ride-on? What pressure? What nozzle?
    The most heavily affected part of the shrub is high on the sunniest part of the shrub. Why?

    Did she spray the shrub for insects? Miracle grow? Jerry Bakers' formula? Shovel ice and salt off the porch?

    Perhaps you should take a soil sample And try to grow grass in it in a flower pot (or coffee cup)--you should have an answer in 7 days. Plant a cup with clean soil for comparison. Save an extra sample for later chemical analysis, if needed.


    Burning bush suffers from scale insects in a big way. And it does not tolerate poor drainage.

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