plants dying - conifer

Moved to a new home but the plants don't look right. Are these two conifers dying?  Should I dig them out or they still can be saved?

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Posts

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    The first one looks beyond saving, but the second looks OK. Does it need a trim? If it does, don't go back into brown wood as it won't recover - leave a layer of green everywhere.

  • Is it a correct season do the trim?

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    They're usually done in late summer to avoid birds' nests, so July-August.

  • Tee GeeTee Gee Posts: 32

    Has the gravel been laid recently?

    It looks like limestone chippings and this might have altered the pH of the soil, causing the conifers to react like this.

  • The gravel is also did by the previous owner. At least 5 or 6 years old, I think.

    How can I make the soil quality get better?

    Thanks a lot.

  • Tee GeeTee Gee Posts: 32
    I have had another look at the top picture and I am not quite sure if the lighter coloured areas are light brown( tan coloured) or pale green. If it is the former then it could be wind damage so to overcome this nip of the brown tips back to green foliage but no further. If you cut back to the dark brown area this is too much, and the tree will not replace the foliage. If the light areas are pale green this could be new growth which will grow darker as the season progresses and the tips mature. To improve the soil will be difficult short of digging around the the base which might damage the shallow roots. What I would do is rake back the gravel by 6" to 12" spread a general slow release fertiliser such as fish blood and bone. Apply this at the rate is states on the box. Do not be tempted to add more than it says as too much can do the reverse of what you want it to do. Once you have spread the fertiliser cover the area with bark chippings rather than the gravel,this will keep the area moist and save the need for watering, plus it will eventually rot down and the worms will take it into the soil. I would be interested in a closer picture of the lighter coloured areas to see what is happening. Regarding the large tree it just looks if it wants a bit of tidying up once the frost have passed say June / July time. Again only cut the tips of the branches leaving a bit of green on each cut branch. If you go back further you will create brown ares which may not green up again. I hope that helps
  • Thanks for the reply.

    The far side of the plant is patchy - bits of pale green (as shown on the left edge of the plant in the photo) and bits of dead-looking brown. The pale green bits are new growth leaves. This is south facing so gets a lot of sunshine. The near side of the plant is brown and looks dead. This is north facing and also close to the larger tree so gets little or no direct sunshine.

  • Tee GeeTee Gee Posts: 32
    At first I thought it was wind damage but I think the garden wall will protect it from this. But another thought is it might be a " frost pocket" se here; http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Data/Frost%20%20pockets/Frost%20Pockets.htm I would try nipping the tips off the affected branches and hopefully ( providing you don't cut back too far it might green up again. That's about all I have to offer I'm afraid so it's fingers crossed that what I have suggested works.......Tg
  • Thanks you so much. I see what I can find more information about this free plant which is coming with my new house. Otherwise, I have to dig it out.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and information.

  • The big tree is fine but the little may live but will always be ugly so best to dig it up. All that weed free gravel and a scorched tree may mean weedkiller damage, that will be one for you to watch in the future. 

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