We trenched our beds 10 days ago and on the inside edge of the trench, we applied a light spraying of Round-up. Now the leaves on our shrub (either Cleyera or Ligustrum) are turning brown. This shrub is at least 20 years old and very large. Please advise on what could possibly be happening and how to correct this problem.
Overspray from the trench may have gotten on the shrub. Spray the plant down thoroughly and repeatedly. This will help dilute the herbicide. Regardless, while the leaves will die back some, they should grow back. Large shrubs typically will not be killed by overspray.
Your article says to prune a cleyera as follows: Instead of shortening the stems, cut them all the way back to the center of the plant. Shortening a stem encourages two new side branches to grow where you made the cut. Admittedly, I have no idea what it means to cut it all the way back to the center of the plant. Certainly, you do not cut the branches to the center of the plant do you? Could you explain, please?
I think the article is saying that, if you want to remove a branch, you should cut that branch back to where it joins the next larger branch (the branch it is growing out from) or where it joins the main trunk.
On the other hand, if you want to make the plant bushier in that area, you can prune a branch part of the way back- that will cause two smaller branches to grow from just behind where you cut it.
What is the best fertilizer to use on Cleyera Japonica in Georgia?
An established tree can be fertilized every 2 to 3 years.
Feed in early spring with a balanced, slow release fertilizer for trees and shrubs.
This will require spring pruning. You will want to cut each stalk in half. This article will give you more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/cleyera/japanese-cleyera-information.htm
I have a lot of very tall Japanese Cleyera hedge plants as my property's natural fence. But, they are not looking so good. Some have died, and others are looking thin. What do I need to put around them (pine straw or cedar mulch, or what?) this time of year in December here in Snellville, GA 30078? I have not trimmed them yet. Should they be cut back now in December, or later on in the Spring, and shaped?
It would seem that you are right on the edge of where they can survive. This makes them sensitive to your colder temperatures. In addition, it has been very cold lately, much moreso than usual, in much of the US.
This is guaranteed to make them very sick looking. Aside from this fact, proper care will give them their best chance.
This article will help you to care for them: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/cleyera/japanese-cleyera-information.htm
Spotting and curling on leaves.
This could be due to overwatering and disease, or alkaline soils. I would check to make sure that the soil is on the acidic side, which they prefer.
Here are some articles that will help: