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Conifer dying?

I have quite an established tree, think its a kind of conifer or fir tree and wondered if it was dying, or if I could rescue it somehow. All the stems have gone brown and the leaves dropping off. I have attached a few photos, so if anyone can help I would be most grateful!


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    While I'm not at all sure which one it is (Pinus Devoniana, Pinus ? - google shows there are far more 'drooping pines' than I would have expected!) I pretty sure it is a pine tree and it is normal for those to lose some of the oldest needles (ie those furthest away from the growing tip) at this time of year.  Assuming you are in the UK, it probably suffered from the heat and drought many had this year, making it look a bit worse for wear than normal.  This sort of tree shouldn't really be pruned except to remove dead, damaged or diseased wood but it looks like it has been tip-pruned at some point which probably isn't ideal.
    Having said that, I would give it generous amounts of water from now until proper wet weather sets in - it will likely be just fine next year.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,997
    There is a technique to correctly pruning Pine trees, and then only certain species ; obviously yours has been mutilated needlessly by an amateur . Bob is 100% correct regarding cutting out only dead or diseased wood .
    It appears the apical tip or growing point has been removed for some reason , most likely in an attempt to limit its size ; however , it is highly unlikely another will form .

    As the older needles drop , your tree will become increasingly stark and bare .

    Try Bobs advice and water copiously . If it helps , all well and good !

    I would opt for Pinus wallichiana , or the Bhutan Pine .

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,932
    Yes - even here, the drier summer has affected the big conifer and the pine at the rear of my garden, shedding a lot more needles than usual. Once the first windy weather came and they all dropped, and then the regular rain arrived, they looked more normal again.   :)
    How good your tree will look in future is difficult to judge,  but some regular rain should help, and you should be getting that soon, if not already. By the end of winter, it should have revived enough to look reasonably healthy. If not, see it as an opportunity - remove it and plant something else.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,102
    edited October 2018
    Just a thought ... how long has the shingle been down and what's underneath it?  If it's a fairly recent installation, and there's a plastic-type membrane underneath, possibly it's not letting enough water through when it does rain?  And what rain does get through is probably being sucked up by the deeper far reaching roots of the large tree beyond the fence ... That coupled with the drought might have caused a problem ... 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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