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Help please

Just bought a house with lots of plants in the garden. What plant is this and what shall we do about the dead foliage?


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,469
    Welcome to the forum  :)
    Is that all one plant ? It's a type of conifer, and really all you can do with the dead bits is cut them off.
    Is it possible to see a photo of the whole plant, as it may be possible to reshape it if you want to keep it.
    I can't promise anything though !
  • Hi AnniD, 
    Thank you for replying. 
    Yes we would like to keep it, the dead bits just brush off to be honest so we weren’t sure whether to cut it right back? Here is the best picture I took.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,469
    Good morning  :)
    Please bear in mind that l am no conifer expert,  but this is what l would do. I would cut back that whole lower section and all the dead stuff right back to the trunk, and turn it into a tree, with all the growth at the top, and clear ground underneath. 
    Very few conifers regenerate with the possible exception of thuja, and this isn't a thuja. I'm hoping that a few more people will see this when l reply and may be able to give you more advice  :)
  • It looks like Chamaecyparis pisifera it looks like it has lost a lot of its natural shape...tidy it up and see how it performs? Difficult when conifers are not managed and left to their own devices.
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Thank you to both of you. When you say ‘Tidy it up’ would you go with the advice form AnniD and cut back the bottom half right back and leave the top? Or something else
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    I would do it like that, as Anni says. Cut all the bottom growth off back to the trunk up to about the height of the fence. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    I'd do the same - take it all back to the trunk at the bottom. 
    It is Chamaecyparis pis. Boulevard - a very popular variety. Unfortunately, people underestimate the eventual size. They're lovely when given the room, but you'll just have to tidy it up and plant something to disguise the cleared area.

    That can be tricky unless you have suitable climate and conditions. Look for plants which enjoy dry shade. Long Acre plants is a good nursery to start with   :)
    Hardy geraniums will be fine once established.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • That’s great thank you all. We’ve done that now. How do we stop it from happening next year? What is the usual maintenance for this conifers and conifers in general?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    Conifers generally need little maintenance. If you have new growth [ small branches may spring up again] appearing low down, just remove it again. Other than that - just let it do it's  own thing.
    Conifers can be kept 'neat' by careful trimming from early on. Once they get bigger, and they're too big for the space they've been planted in, you risk cutting back too far and then you won't get regrowth. They just need trimming back a little once they get to the preferred size, but only cutting back into the new growth, not into brown wood.
    It's a common problem with many conifers because they take a long time to get to any size, but they don't just stop growing. Most people don't realise the eventual size, and they only realise it when the thing's blocking their front window and they're sitting in the dark all day  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,469
    Generally speaking,  a light trim is all that's required. The vast majority of conifers won't regrow from old wood with the possible exception of thuja, and even that can take quite a while.
    Some general conifer information here

    Any chance of a photo of the new improved conifer ?  :)

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