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Help diagnose what’s wrong with my tree 🌲

First post on here, thanks in advance for any help.

I bought a house 7 years ago, and a tree was already there.  Over the years it has grown in size and has always been green. 

Over the past 6 months it has turned brown (picture attached). I live in central Scotland if that is relevant.

I was wondering could suggest what is wrong with it as I don’t have much experience with gardening or plants.  My suspicion is that it may be dead.

All suggestions welcome, and if not dead is there any action I could take to revive it.



  • B3B3 Posts: 21,500
    It's dead. It probably got too dry. Did you have a dry winter and spring?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 586
    Looks fairly dead to me as well. I don't think it will recover so I'd look into removing it and replacing it with something else.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,444
    Hi @millenarossi and welcome!   :)

    I'm afraid your conifer does look very dead.  They hate drying out at the roots, and planted next to a driveway it may not have had access to enough water - the weather over the past 6 months has been pretty extreme at times.  It's hard to believe how much water plants need when it hasn't been raining!

    Time to replace it, I think...

    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,002
    It is dead. It needed to have been well watered about 7 months ago, and from then onwards in dry weather, and then it might have survived.
    Conifers don't show their response to drought as clearly as deciduous trees, but if you get another one don't ignore browning at the tips of branches.
    You have avoided the other frequent error of clipping too hard, back into brown wood though, and it looks otherwise well tended, so don't beat yourself up too much. We've all had a lot to think about in recent months :)
  • Thanks everyone for your responses.
    I didn’t think I would have to water it with living in the West of Scotland and the amount of rain we get here. 

    I’ll know for the next time. 

    Thank you. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,325
    It's certainly been very dry here over the last few weeks @millenarossi - highly unusual for us, especially in the west. Loch Ness is at it's lowest level for five years  :/

    Even quite mature established conifers which can withstand a fair bit of drought can just turn up their toes. It will have struggled to access enough moisture over a period of time. That isn't something that's happened recently, so don't feel guilty  - that's been in decline for a long while, and they can look fine, then suddenly feel the effects. By the time you see the problem, it's usually too late. It'll be quite a dry site where it's planted. 

    Time to get rid and pick something else for the spot though. Just beef up the soil well before planting anything new, and keep well watered until autumn    :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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