Is my newly planted Quercus Ilex dying?

We recently purchased a Quercus Ilex Tree which was seven years old and grown in a pot.  It is about 12ft tall.  We planted the tree in a square hole and mixed the backfill with slow release fertiliser and bonemeal.  We have kept it well watered or at least the rain has until last week when we are on holiday for a week (when it was very hot and suuny), our neighbour watered the tree for us but probably only once.  In the seven days we were away about 80% of the trees leaves have turned brown and are falling off but during the same seven days it has produced a lot of very small catkin-type growths.  Is the tree dying or will it recover?  What can we do to help it? 



  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Keep it watered and hope. The problem is, your tree needed to be treated as though it was in a pot and watered daily when hot. If it is a reasonable size, it should have the capacity to recover.

  • Hi Alina W thank you for your answer.  What do you mean by a reasonable size? and how long before we will know if it dying or not?

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Really, it's whether it has a reasonably thick trunk - an inch or two - or is just a bunch of thin twigs. The thicker the wood, the better the chance. How long - that's really difficult to say, but it should start producing fresh shoots this summer. Don't give up on it until next spring, though - plants can often surprise you.

  • ezageezaezageeza Posts: 14

    Or it could be dead - container grown evergreen trees are very difficult to overwinter succesfully.   If their root balls freeze for an extended period the roots die, but this only becomes apparent when they try to grow in the following spring and realise they don't have the roots to support their leaves, which all brown and drop.

    If you purchased the tree this year, this is possible.   Especially with Q. ilex, most of which originate in Holland or Italy, both of whom have just had severe winters.

    but Alina's advice is sound - water and wait!

  • Hello ezageeza,  thank you for your answer although I hope you are wrong!!!  We did buy it this year but as far as we were told it has been grown in the UK and outdoors to make sure it is was hardy.

    It does still have new growth on it I guess we need to see if the new growth continues to grow.


  • ezageezaezageeza Posts: 14

    You might want to take it back to the nursery if it's that new, and ask for a refund - I imagine it wasn't cheap, and it probably isn't your fault.

  • Further to my posts in May we thought the tree was starting to recover it produced loads of catkins early June and does seem to have a lot of new growth all over it.  However in the last week it has started to drop it's leaves again, they are not turning brown this time it is just dropping green leaves.  I realise that evergeen trees do drop their leaves but it was dropping maybe 1 or 2 a day and in the past week it has started dropping 20 ish a day.  Any ideas?

  • ACSACS Posts: 3

    A quercus ilex has just been delivered; container grown; it is very tall and   thin with branches at the top but no branches lower down. Is this normal?   ACS

  • After the 1992 international conference in Rio de Janeiro about climate change, many countries went into converting agricultural land into forestry. So I did, in soutern Portugal and planted 100 hectares in 1999 with Quercus ilex. This project was funded by the EEC (Reg. 2080). Summers are very dry in this area and many trees die at the end of the summer. But this is understandable as trees were still young. The problem is that some trees are dying when they are much older, already 6 foot tall. So I am now in deep trouble because I cannot maintain the minimal density of 300 trees per ha. and I am asked to refund the investment. It is my intuition that something must be lacking in the soil for the sucessfull growing of the tree. Soil analysis were made and major nutrients were abundant. Is there any symbiotic micro-organism in the soil fundamental for Quercus ilex ?


  • AtillaAtilla Posts: 1,493

    @Marc Assis - Quercus ilex /Holm Oak do well in moist soil. They are tolerant of drought when the root system is developed (2 years after planting). So my suggestion is to keep them well watered for the first few years.


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