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Leaves on tree browning

Hi all,

I inherited a fairly large Cornus alternifolia argentea last year which I left over winter until leaves were showing so I could identify it correctly (with help from the brilliant guys on this forum).

I umm'd and ahh'd over where to actually plant it and by the time I came round to it we were in the midst of our very hot dry Spring and the tree was visibly starting to wilt in the pot.

I gave it a good soak, dug a big hole, forked out the roots, sprinkled some rootgrow and planted it, then gave it a really good water. My soil is quite heavy clay and flint so when I back filled the hole the were big lumps of soil, though I made sure I heeled it all in well around the rootball.

As you can see from the photos, the leaves are not looking particularly healthy. I'm wondering if the rootball is not sitting surrounded by soil and the small watering roots are in pockets of air? When there has been no heavy rain I try and give the tree a good soak once a week (leave the hose on it for 10 mins). I've also put down a mulch of composted bark around the base.

Should I dig it up and see or could that cause me more problems? I really don't want to lose the tree!

I’ve no idea what I’m doing. 


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,716
    It's still establishing. Planting a large specimen of any shrub is always difficult, and with hot/dry weather, it becomes more difficult.
    Once a week for ten minutes isn't really long enough. I don't know what size it is, but you really need a couple of buckets of water every other day for a biggish shrub when first planted, and that would continue until the shrub is properly established, which takes months. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • LatimerLatimer Posts: 1,059
    @Fairygirl thanks. It's a big tree, almost 2m so approaching its full height. I'll empty a couple of 10L watering cans on it every other day from now on!
    I’ve no idea what I’m doing. 
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