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Help: Conifer Issue- Is it a goner?...

Afternoon All,

Last summer I moved into a new property, and my neighbour asked us to cut back the conifers down the side of our garden as the previous owner had not tended to it for years. The trees were blocking sunlight from their garden.

Having taken advice from a keen gardener friend, I cut back circa 3 foot from the top, and trimmed the side (my garden side) right back.

Unfortunately, as you can see, below the green on the sides, there is nothing but dead tree, and the top isn’t looking much better.

My gardener friend has suggested that it looks to be a lost cause, and I’d better digging it all up and planting laurels instead.

However, my neighbours side remains green and healthy and there are a few (very few!) green sprigs coming at the bottom.

I have attached images for reference but my questions are...

1. are they beyond rescuing?
2. Should I cut off all the dead branches to give it a chance?
3. Is it better to get rid and replace with Laurels?


(for info, the trees currently provide good privacy in our garden)

Any advice appreciated!

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,651
    Well, it’s still growing well on your neighbour’s side.😊

    What you see on your side is what you are going to see on your side for ever and a day. It won’t regrow.

    The top will eventually sprout and grow skywards, though whether you want that sort of a look is up to you.🙂

    Maybe a fence with a trellis on top for a bit of extra height?
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • pansyface said:
    Well, it’s still growing well on your neighbour’s side.😊

    What you see on your side is what you are going to see on your side for ever and a day. It won’t regrow.

    The top will eventually sprout and grow skywards, though whether you want that sort of a look is up to you.🙂

    Maybe a fence with a trellis on top for a bit of extra height?

    Thanks for the response!

    Sob taking my side right back to the trunk won’t make a difference... it will never grow?...
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,691
    It will never grow again! 

    Laurels would be nicer but please do seek some advice before you buy them.
    maybe look through this thread beforehand.
    This poster made the mistake of buying tall trees thinking he would get an instant screen, it doesn’t work as you will see.
    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/656523/help-needed-please-with-laurel-hedge-issues/p1
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,972
    Conifers do not grow back from brown wood so no, these will not o green again.

    Please reconsider laurels.  They can be thugs and grow very quickly.  Their leaves are very dark and dull and, if you clip them with hedge trimmers, you'll get lots of visible brown edges on the wounded leaves.  Photinia Red Robin will give you just as good cover and the bonus is that all new leaves are red so it's attractive and cheerful.  The green is lighter and not as oppressive as laurel green.

    Whatever you select, make sure you remove as much root as possible when taking out those conifer stumps.  Refresh the soil with lashings of well-rotted garden compost or manure to replenish nutrients and improve soil microbe levels.   This will help your new hedge.

    If you buy potted plants, make sure they are dunked in a bucket of water until no further air bubbles appear so you know the roots have moisture.  Tease out the roots with your fingers or a hand fork if they look tight and constricted.  That will help them find their way out into the soil.  Plant at teh same level as before and water well then mulch them to retain moisture while the roots establish ad provide more nutrients.

    If you prefer to go for bare rooted plants it's a bit late this year as it's best to give them all winter to establish themselves.   Waiting for the ideal planting time of next autumn will give you plenty of time to work on those stumps and soil improvement.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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