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Is my Arbutus dead ?

My Arbutus (Strawberry Tree) appears to be dead. The trunk and many branches have severe splits in them. the leaves have dried up and finally turned brown.

The tree was planted about 25 years ago on the top of a small bank. A honeysuckle has taken to growing through it a few years ago. There were many fruits last Autumn but now it seems it has just died. Look forward to hearing your comments on what has happened and possible causes and if anything can be done.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,001
    The split in the bark is not good news. That alone is an entry point for all sorts of pests and diseases. It might be a good idea to photograph the whole tree to see the dead leaves in relation to the size of tree. The dead leaves are also showing signs of leaf spot, so possibly not in ideal growing conditions already, especially when you mention honeysuckle growing through it. Not something I recommend. 

    There has been extreme cold weather this year and these trees are not that hardy. That could be the main reason for the splitting of main trunk.
  • AlanB1960AlanB1960 Posts: 2

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have attached a picture of the whole tree, there are only a few groups of leaves left, most of it is now bare, the green leaves are not Arbutus. It stands about 3m tall.

    I guess there is nothing that can be done now?

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,001
    Thanks for taking another picture. It's a bit too far out to know for sure, but if as you say, most of the green leaves don't belong to the tree, then I'm afraid it's not looking good. You can pull away the honeysuckle to see what the branches look like and prune back a bit to see if there are signs of re-growth in a month's time, but that might be a little too optimistic. 
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