Forum home Problem solving

Advice re tree

Our neighbour who is in her 90's has a tree in her front garden that appears to be dying (please see photo attached). the leaves are very dry and turning red and are getting sparse.
Can anyone 
1) identify the tree?
2) give suggestions as to what the problem may be and if we can try something to solve them?

Many thanks



  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 669
    Not sure what type of tree it is but there does look to be a lot of growth around the base of the trunk that may be competing with the tree. Not sure if they are suckers form the tree or other plants but either way removing them might help the tree.
  • G438G438 Posts: 6
    Thanks for that we will try it. Its normally a beautiful tree and we all love it we have tried various web sites but even with its unusual intertwining branches and red berries we cant identify it.
    One person did suggest "windburn" but that doesn't seem to add up
    I have attached more photos in case that helps anyone.
  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 669
    edited April 2020
    It looks to me like a type of cotoneaster but not sure which one. The growth at the base of the trunk looks healthy but it may be taking some of the growth from the top of the tree which might explain some of the leaves further up not doing that well. If you want to keep it growing as a tree rather than a shrub the lower down growth needs to be controlled. If you spot it when it is just starting to bud it can usually be just rubbed off but when it has got more established a secateurs or loppers might be needed. Cutting out any diseased branches might also help. I also see a red valerian plant at the base which is  a nice flower but the tree might benefit from it being moved.
  • G438G438 Posts: 6
    That looks to be spot on! many thanks we will have a closer look tomorrow with Peggys' permission of course.

    While you are here I wondered if you may have any comments re my last post as below. Either way you have helped us to help our neighbour so we are very grateful

    "We have a small garden which is overlooked by the houses that back onto ours and one neighbour who has conifers has had then cut to about 8ft so our privacy has gone.
    I am considering planting a tree/s that I can control that will block the view from his upstairs windows and am seeking advice as to what to get.
    Ideally due to the small size of the garden I do not want anything that grows huge or extremely high (10ft ish would do) and of course it needs to be able to compete with the conifers.
    On the same note I am looking for advice on plants? bushes that I can grow beneath the tree that again can compete with the conifers and make the garden more attractive  for us and wildlife."

    People have suggested putting a man made screen up but we would prefer a organic solution. Some research suggests lilac trees or red robin as the latter seems to thrive next to conifers.

  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 669
    I think photinia red robin does sound like a good option for privacy as it is evergreen but has the added bonus of variation and interest in its leaf colour. A tree that only grows to 10foot is likely to be very slow growing so you would be restricting your options too much by getting something that will never grow taller. Lilac is also very nice and I like the spring flowers and fragrance. There are some fruit trees sold on root stock that restricts their full grown size and may be apple or pear which you could keep pruned to a size that suits you might be other options. Also butterfly bush (Buddleia) might work and these can be cut right back each year and regrow to around 10feet tall. Here is a clip of one in my own garden. It is in a playlist with some other clips of some other shrubs and another one from the list that might be worth considering would be one of the cotoneasters which as you mentioned already can be very nice garden plants.
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,970
    I would give Peggy's tree another chance; evergreen trees shed their leaves throughout the year, so it might just be making way for the new leaves that are forming. The crown of it looks like it's become a bit dense and thickety, due to being sheared over - it might help to prune out some of the more weak/twiggy growth to open it up slightly.
  • G438G438 Posts: 6
    Dear all

    You have been very informative and it is much appreciated.
    I will present the findings to Peggy and then if she agrees will try to implement some with the hope that they work. 
    As for our garden again thanks. When we are allowed out again we will have a shop around.
    It is very nice to have a communities expertise to draw upon
Sign In or Register to comment.