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Help - my new Judas Tree is dying!

We bought a Judas Tree (cercis siliquastrum) from a good nursery and planted it 2 weeks ago today (18th July)- wide hole with stakes either side as per first photo below and some Growmore general fertiliser mixed with the soil.. It looked lovely for the first 10 days or so but in the last few days many leaves started to go yellow and in the last day or so many leaves are shrivelled, going brown and falling off. We've been watering it every day if it's not rained a lot. Help! Any ideas? 

We're in East Anglia (Cambridge) and it's been quite windy any very hot yesterday (33C). Should we be watering it more? Less?








Posts

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 2,650
    "We bought a Judas Tree (cercis siliquastrum) from a good nursery and planted it 2 weeks ago today (18th July)"
    Definitely the wrong time of year to plant trees. I wonder how a reputable nursery would not advise you against making such a mistake.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,258
    edited 1 August
    Are you pouring the water on the surface?  It might not soak down deep enough.  Try this:  discard the tops of two or three plastic bottles and cut off the bottoms.  Plant the bottles upside down either side of the tree, two or three inches away from it.  Now you can deliver water straight down to the roots, without losing any of it to runoff or evaporation.  They look a bit unsightly but you can get rid of them once the tree is established.

    In hot, dry or windy weather, sometimes plants lose water from their leaves faster than the roots can take it up.  Could you erect some sort of shelter to shade it a bit and keep the wind off?  Again, just until the tree is well settled.
  • PyraPyra Central Scotland Posts: 132
    Papi Jo said:
    "We bought a Judas Tree (cercis siliquastrum) from a good nursery and planted it 2 weeks ago today (18th July)"
    Definitely the wrong time of year to plant trees. I wonder how a reputable nursery would not advise you against making such a mistake.
    I was wondering that too. Can I ask where you got it from? 
    I agree it needs more water. Do as Josusa47 says. Make sure you pour the water in slowly and use a bucket. A small watering can full isn't enough.
    Generally trees should be planted in late autumn or winter. Good nurseries should tell you that. 
    I love the rest of your garden, though! Beautiful. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,529
    "Definitely the wrong time of year to plant trees. I wonder how a reputable nursery would not advise you against making such a mistake."

    That's a very sweeping generalisation though. It entirely depends on where you live, and what your climate is like.
    I've often planted shrubs and trees at this time of year - and also moved them without any problem.
    It's the aftercare that matters.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,627
    I would say that tree is stressed through lack of water. 

    @Fairygirl is correct that it is too sweeping a generalisation to say trees should never be planted at this time of year - but down here in E Anglia it's an uphill task to keep on top of every day watering in a normal summer - let alone trying to establish a largish shrub / small tree when it's been so hot and dry. The ground here in Suffolk is baked solid again and very very dry to at least 12" depth.

    How much water are you giving the tree and how / when? I would give it 2 or 3 large watering cans full twice a week. That is more effective than (say) half a can every day. I also prefer to water in the evening so the water soaks deep into the ground overnight and doesn't just evaporate.

    I would also say that it's been very breezy here over the last couple of weeks and drying winds combined with little (no!) rain and summer temperatures is stressing shrubs planted 4 or 5 years ago in my garden. The wind is as damaging as lack of rainfall.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 28,688
    I agree with Fairygirl. Whilst November to March are generally considered the optimum times for planting trees, container grown trees can be planted at any time of the year. I think that josusa has identified the problem.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Bill and BenBill and Ben Posts: 100
    Thanks for all the replies - we'll water it a lot more. I really was worrying in case we were over doing the watering! And thank you @josusa47 for the tip about getting more water to the roots. I've got a couple of those glass bowls with long spikes that I've just put in and will do as you suggest too. Might seek out an old fashioned beach wind shelter too!

    I knew I was going to get a lot of 'wrong time if year' but I don't get completely bound by that with gardening and my attitude has been fine so far. We had our garden completely landscaped in April/May 2014. The day it finished we went on holiday for 3 weeks so didn't start the planting process until the last week of June. We bought loads of plants at Hampton Court Flower Show and moved a load of existing ones from our front garden where I'd put them temporarily while the landscaping was being done. We watered very generously the rest of that summer and I don't remember losing any. I also am still deciding where things should be and move things around a lot - and not always at the time I am supposed to - and it's usually fine. If instructions tell me I need to do something mid November or February or whenever (Nov-Feb) I am quite unlikely to do it as I hate gardening in the cold!

  • Bill and BenBill and Ben Posts: 100
    Fairygirl said:
    "Definitely the wrong time of year to plant trees. I wonder how a reputable nursery would not advise you against making such a mistake."

    That's a very sweeping generalisation though. It entirely depends on where you live, and what your climate is like.
    I've often planted shrubs and trees at this time of year - and also moved them without any problem.
    It's the aftercare that matters.
    Thank you! Me too!
  • Bill and BenBill and Ben Posts: 100
    Papi Jo said:
    "We bought a Judas Tree (cercis siliquastrum) from a good nursery and planted it 2 weeks ago today (18th July)"
    Definitely the wrong time of year to plant trees. I wonder how a reputable nursery would not advise you against making such a mistake.
    No I am not naming the nursery of that is going to give it a bad reputation! It's a very good one that a lot of people in my village use (it's quite a long drive away) and recommend. Many open their gardens in our annual Open Gardens event which raised £10,000 for charity last year. We went for the first time last month during lockdown and could not have been more pleased with the things we bought (10 items) - all other things are thriving except the lovely tree!
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