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Unhappy Bay Tree

Hi I moved house and my sister said i could take a bay tree from her garden. we dug it out with tap root in tact and we dug it in deeply into a moist partly shaded flower bed. it is now looking quite poorly, i have been watering twice a day to keep it wet but it looks like its dying all the leaves are shriveling and i dont know what to do next! any help appreciated! thanks


  • How tall was the tree when you moved it?  How long ago did you dig it up?  Summer is probably not the best time of year to move established shrubs and trees, and it is probably quite stressed.  I am not sure watering it twice a day is helping either.  In fact you may be killing it with kindness.  Sometimes wilting leaves is a sign of overwatering.  Like many kitchen aromatics, they come from a fairly dry climate.  If you trod it in well so that the soil around the roots is quite firm that is probably the best you can do.  I'd be inclined to leave it alone for a while and hope for the best.  If all else fails, you can always buy small bay plants (15-20 cms tall) from garden centres quite cheaply, and if you plant them in a good spot they will thrive and grow.  I had one I bought from the 'reduced' counter in a garden centre in a 1 litre pot. It was misshapen and sad, but it survived. I moved it when it was about 30cm high when I moved house, and when I sold that house it was 2.5 metres high!

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    I tend to agree that you are killing it with kindness, having given it the shock of its life by moving it in full growth.  Among other things, i.e reducng the water, i'd be inclined to reduce the leaf load while it tries to make new roots, cutting back much of the new growth from the shrub.  

  • thanks very much, the tree is about 1m high and it is quite wide so I will prune it back and hope for the best! is there a special food or something like bonemeal that may help it out a bit? thank you very much for your responses!! image

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