Mysterious Brown Circles Appearing on Box Hedging

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I wanted to share with you a problem someone was having with their box hedging that surrounds a lawn area. Brown circular patches were appearing on the grass side of the hedge and were all at roughly the same height.

Brown circular patches on the box hedging

The owner’s Labrador was being accused of causing the damage so I was pleased to be able to exonerate the dog of all blame.

The problem is a result of the hot exhaust on a lawnmower. This is not normally an issue if the gardener keeps moving along the hedge when cutting the grass. The damage is done when the lawnmower is stationary next to the box hedge because the gardener needs to empty the grass collector box, or check a mobile phone.

lawnmower Damage Box  Hedging
Lawnmower hot exhaust damage on box hedging

This is one of the downsides of growing grass up close to box hedging. A simple way to avoid the damage is to invest in a battery powered or electric mower. But if this is not possible then keep moving past the hedge when cutting the grass and only stop the lawnmower when at a safe distance.

The guilty hot exhaust on the lawnmower

The box hedge will recover but may need some extra love with regular feeds of Topbuxus ‘Health Mix’ every 4 weeks during the growing season.

By James Todman

Topiary Specialist based in The Cotswolds, UK.

2 replies on “Mysterious Brown Circles Appearing on Box Hedging”

I had a similar problem on a ‘Miss Kim’ Lilac hedge – I realized the guys mowing would stop the mower next to the hedge to move two chaise lounges out of the way & once I had the foresight to move the chaises ahead of their arrival on mowing day the problem resolved!

Thanks for the info. Also I haven’t heard about the health mix in this area (Long Island, NY. US ) I’m going to ask with the arborist around here the possibility to use it.

Heri Ruesga Kohler

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