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Pinus Sylvestris topiary

I planted a containerised scots pine topiary tree 4 weeks ago to replace the dead one that I planted in spring last year. I assumed that I had overwatered the first. You are always told to keep plants well watered in the first year but given the surrounding soil is a little clay- like perhaps it drowned! The pine needles gradually died from the base of the tree upwards. Now the same appears to have started to the replacement. This one I have hardly watered at all due to all the rain we have had. The top 6" of soil is slightly moist. Experts suggest that these trees can survive dought conditions but do I water, feed, leave and cross my fingers?. These plants are very expensive and I really do not want to kill off another. Can anyone help?


  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    Scots Pine grows in a wide range of soils but mainly well drianed and slightly sandy. I have some in clay soil and they are happy enough. I think it is root problems - possibly root rot but could be that the roots got damaged by a number of things. They prefer slightly acidic soil - who alkali is the soil? Also if it does die take it back to the shop you bought it as plants should not die in 4 weeks or so.

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    I wonder if it is sitting in a sump-did you dig over the area for it or just dig a planting hole?

  • KeithB2KeithB2 Posts: 2
    Hi Chaps (eses)-I dug a hole 6" larger diam than the container and also spiked holes in the bottom and filled with shingle and left a 4" layer of shingle under the plant to aid drainage. The root ball had not grown anywhere near the size of the container when planted. Prior to my last pinus, that died, I had a large specimen cordyline in the same position which thrived for several years until the major frost that killed most in this area of the country. The nursery have already replaced the last pinus and will not replace this one as well. As the cordyline thrived I did not expect to have this problem. The soil is not solid clay and has had 8" of compost dug into it's upper layer. PH approx 10.other plants around it are thriving as well. I am at a loss whether to add more water or assume fairly regular fall from the sky will suffice.
  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    Ph 10 is strongly want it 7 which is neutral. Are you using spent mushroom compost? That has lime in it. Otherwise you sound like you are doing exactly what I would do re adding compost etc.

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