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Is my tree dying?

k8bishopk8bishop Posts: 3
edited September 2018 in The potting shed
Hello, We are landscaping our garden and kept this lovely tree. We are currently putting sleepers around it especially. I noticed today it looks quite brown. This is more so on the inside. I'm not sure what tree it is but it looks like a conifer of some sort? Please see attached. It's had abit of damage to branches when the mini digger went near iht. Is it dying or just abit shocked? What can I do to help it? Many thanks Its 


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,368
    Conifer roots are generally near the surface and spread wide, so I think the roots have been damaged by excavations and the tree has suffered from it's inability to take in water;  It's been a very dry year for many anyway which won't have helped. 
    Assuming you are going to fill between the sleepers to create raised beds, it might recover when it can grow new roots but the brown bits don't green-up again on this sort of tree and those will need to be removed.  When you fill the beds, don't raise the soil level above whatever it originally was around the tree as that will kill it completely.
    All in all, I think I'd have it removed, roots and all - a chance to put something you really like there, perhaps? :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • I don't think it is dying, unless you have done something very drastic to it's roots. Conifers are continually loosing lower branches that don't get the light (because the upper branches shield them). 
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    Why are you keeping it?  It's not a particularly beautiful tree, the brown bits will never green up again.  Personally, I'd remove it too.
  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Central southern Scotland Posts: 3,845
    This tree is perfect for cloud pruning. Why not try it, you have nothing to lose? 
    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • Thank you for all your comments. I know it's not the most beautiful tree but it's the only thing left of what was my grans garden. Before it started to go brown the landscaper and husband wanted to remove it out of ease and I've really pushed to keep it, we have now designed around it so sod's law if it's on its way out. It got disturbed in July when all the surrounding shrubs got pulled out and again recently to do the sleepers. I can see where some roots have been cut. The trunk looks very dry, but is that normal for this type of tree? It has been in direct sunlight over the very hot summer. If it does survive and I remove the brown bits will it ever bush out again or will it get more and more sparse? I like the cloud idea but I don't think it's bushy enough to get the shapes. Ah silly tree I've always liked it as it looks like an oversized bonsai in a way. Haha. I'm hoping it's still got life in it!! Is there a way to tell? Maybe cutting into the lower trunk slightly to see if still green?. Thanks again 😬 🌲
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,424
    Do note Bob's point about not raising the soil level above its previous point. I imagine that would mean not filling the raised bed much. The tree isn't dead - it will be green underneath the bark. It's just struggling.
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    No, those trees don't bush put/regrow after being pruned.
  • Yes all noted, thank you for all your knowledge it's very much appreciated 👌😁 xx 
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