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yew tree covered in grey mould

Hi, I need some advice, we have a number of old yew trees that seem to be dying.  The branches are covered in a grey type mould that almost looks like a flakey mould growth.  The leaves across the trees are turning yellow and are falling off and all in all it looks like it they are going to die.. trying to attach a photo but failing miserable... we really want to stop the trees from dying if possible... HELP!!  thanks so much in advance


  • Rich WestRich West Posts: 3


    and here is the mould as well as the discoloration of the leaves

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,158

    your mould looks like lichen. lichen is dry and crusty and lives on trees without causing trouble as rule. 


    what proportion of  tree is affected with brown leaves?

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,863

    Agree with Nutcutlet - that's lichen - nothing to worry about - in fact it's an indicator of good air quality.

    As for the brown leaves - has there been a change in the drainage around the trees - yew hates waterlogged soil and the weather last year was very wet indeed - did a drainage ditch get blocked, or was the soil waterlogged for a period of time?  

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

  • Rich WestRich West Posts: 3

    thanks both - the drainage around hasn't really been altered... i've just been digging in the soil which was dry and not waterlogged in order to do a home the ph test (trying to rule out everything) which came back at 7 so neutral (apparently they like between 6 and 6.5 so will had to aim to get that down a bit). 

    The front of the tree which is the bit the sun hits all afternoon long is the bit that is covered in the lichen and the back of the tree isn't.

    I've been looking at all of the yews that we have (around 6 in that spot) and they all have yellowing leaves and some have the lichen / mould on.  it's just a massive concern for us as we don't want them to die as they're such wonderful trees.

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