Ive a got a large Privet hedge where section of it have died leaving just the bare branches behind. They are way to established to dig out easily. Can anyone suggest something (perhaps like an evergreen climber) I can introduce, to grow up the dead plants skeleton to fill the gaps?
Evergreen honeysuckle or variegated ivies would do the job. But bear in mind that dead wood will become brittle, and collapse, within a year or so. Honeysuckle, or any other climber, is unlikely to be able to support itself long term.
Check first that the plants didn`t die from Honey Fungus. Don`t plant anything until you know what the privet died from.
If you can dig it out - it will go brittle quickly so you should be able to - and if it hasn't got anything nasty like Honey Fungus, I'd be tempted to put in something like Hawthorn and Blackthorn. A mixed hedge would be better for wildlife
Honey Fungus. oh great. The hedge either side of the dead area appears quite healthy. Are there any tell tale signs to look for, Ive never had this issue before?
Here's an RHS link on Honey Fungus http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=180. Of course it's not necessarily this or any other virus, there are physical reasons why it could be happening. Have you planted anything near which might have damaged the roots, or chopped through them while planting? Is there a dry/very wet patch? Could it have been poisoned by you or a neighbour killing something off and being enthusiastic with the poison? However, Privet once established is pretty tough stuff. I hacked a piece of mine quite severely a few weeks ago and it's happily growing back, so some sort of virus is worth looking at.
I have copied this off a site about honey fungus
Honey fungus is the common name given to several different species of fungi (Armillaria) that attack and kill the roots of many woody and perennial plants. The most characteristic symptom of honey fungus is white fungal growth between the bark and wood usually at ground level. Clumps of honey coloured toadstools sometimes appear briefly on infected stumps in autumn.