Q. I have a question about yard hedges. I noticed some thick branches are infected with black, and seems rotted?
Dear Marianne: Do continue to cut back and remove any branches that appear to be infected. First make sure that the site is draining well and that the hedge is not too wet. Then, you could purchase a fungicide from a garden center and use that on the base of the plant. However, you mentioned you would like something natural. Pure garden sulfur is very safe and acts as a fungicide. It is not from your kitchen, but a garden center, but it is very safe. If only the outside of the stems is black and not really rotted, look on the underside of the leaves to see if there is a 1/8” long white organism. It is a form of scale that eventually causes the outside of the stems below to darken to black, but not rot. You may not have this, but if you do, spray the foliage with ultra fine oil, another very safe product from the garden centers. It is hard to diagnose plant problems without knowing what kind of plant is ill, how old the hedge is and without seeing the plant and the site.