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Are these dead?

Hi. A couple of months ago we got someone into trim these as they were seriously overgrown. We had only just moved in and as far as we knew they hadn't be trimmed in years.

Not long after they were trimmed they began to turn brown, or rather the brown spread and they now look like this. Are they dead?




  • LynLyn Posts: 22,014

    Afraid so, they don't take cutting back to the bare wood and rarely recover.

    maybe you could use the opportunity to plant a nice natural hedge, hawthorn, blackthorn, beech etc?

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Oh dear, dead I'm afraid.

    i agree with Lynn take the opportunity to put in a different hedge, maybe Escalonia or some other evergreen .

  • I agree with Lyn - Leylandii and similar won't re-grow from old wood so it's unlikely to be green ever again.  That's why it's so important to keep them trimmed regularly.

    They're not difficult to uproot as the roots are shallow - I'd get rid of them and grow something more attractive and less troublesome.


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks for all your replies. I love the idea of a natural hedge. We are out in the country surrounded by mature hedges and stone walls so it would look great. Is there any that are more wildlife friendly than others? When do you plant a hedge? Are they expensive?

    The trees came with the house and they wouldn't be my choice so it's not a disaster if they come out. It also gives me a chance to dog proof the fence behind them. I have two more lines of them I'd love to take out but they are healthy so I can't bring myself to do it just yet.

    One question: the other half of the tree line doesn't look as bad. Should I only remove the dead trees or would I be better pulling out the whole lot and planting a hedge the whole way?





  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,189

    Pulling them out won't be that hard once the ground is wet but it will be messy so I'd do them all at once and then put down a good thick layer of well rotted manure or garden compost to improve the soil which will be impoverished after all those conifers.

    Autumn is the best time to plant new hedges.  You can buy bare root whips - single stemmed plants - in bundles very cheaply.   This site gives info on which plants are good for wildlife - and there is a hedging company that provides advice and plants but I can't remember its name.  Someone else will no doubt post it.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks Obelixx, I'm no gardener and as yet have no compost heap. What sort of manure? Horse manure? Would stuff from a manure heap at a yard do?

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,189

    Horse manure is excellent as long as the pastures they've grazed on haven't been treated with aminopyralid which is a selective herbicide found to have residual effects which are not good for plants grown in ground treated with manure from horses and cows grazed in fields where it has been used.

    Ask at your nearest stables and make sure that any manure you collect or they deliver is no longer smelly.   That means it's well rotted and perfect as a soil conditioner.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,307

    You may have a nursery in your neck of the woods that supplies bare root hedging plants and they will be well placed to advise you on the things that do best in your locality. The standard British hedgerow contains hawthorn, hazel, blackthorn, hornbeam, cherry plum, the odd crab apple, beech, field maple, and holly, though the latter doesn't seem to grow as fast as the others. I have grown quite a few of my hedging plants from fruits and seeds gathered in the Autumn and this is a good way to get replacement plants for any that may die off and leave gaps.

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