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Conifer advice

Discussion in 'Trees' started by samtialou, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. samtialou

    samtialou Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi there!

    Does anyone know why my conifers are going brown? Started over winter,i dont know if it was because we had such a cold one, but it’s only the first 4 in the row thats done it. There about 5 yr old now, bought them a foot tall so they have certainly thrived. We intend to cut the tops off next summer so they thicken up. Any advice? Tia
     

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  2. Tetters

    Tetters Gardener

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    Hello Tia, not sure about the conifers I have to say, but I also have a hedge with the same symptoms - sadly. In my experience this sort of thing never seems to end well. It could be the result of a very hot and dry summer, or a case of phytophthora :noidea:
     
  3. Mike Allen

    Mike Allen Gardener

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    Sometimes conifers can take a long time to die, in fact a conifer can actually already be dying when purchased. Despite conifer being long lived and in Northern territories enduring long harsh winters and on the other hand long hot dry summers, a conifer has to retain sufficient water to survive. Periods of frequent changes in weather conditions can affect the amount of water retained.
    Non coniferous trees undergoing similar conditions will often close down. Leaves will fall and new buds will be held back until suitable weather conditions prevail.

    Conifers will not grow back. Even if a dead or brown part is cut off. New growth will not come from the cut area. New growth will often be seen further back even as far back as the main trunk. Conifers can become victim to a species of aphid and other problems. However the water aspect usually is found to be the culprit. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Mike Allen

    Mike Allen Gardener

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    If I may mention. Reading Tetters' comment about her hedge. Look at the overall shape of the hedge, or even a tree. The growth forms a canopy like an umbrella, actually it causes the same effect. Following a good downpour, the surrounding area has become soaked and the moisture will be drawnup by the roots. When undergoing drier spells, using the hose will help clean and freshen the foliage but the roots require much more water, so if possible, lay the hose down and leave for a good period of time.
     
  5. HarryS

    HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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    We have a hedge row of conifers , about 8 trees . They were already established when we bought this property 14 years ago , so they are over 20 years old . This hot summer after trimming them large dead patches were apparent. These steadily got worse over the next few weeks . No chance of anything growing back on conifers , so next week they are being removed and the stumps ground out . The area will be re turfed next spring.
     
  6. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    Phytophthora is common these days and increasingly responsible for the death of many trees, conifers and even shrubs. It can be slow or very quick
    With conifers, in my experience, phytophthora can make their removal much easier as often the roots are damaged and less resistant.

    However, samtialou, looking at your photo it may simply be wind scorch so your plan to trim the tops is worth trying. The brown parts will not green up though. Cosmetically in spring, if the damage is no worse, try tying the green branches over the brown parts and lightly trim them....not going beyond any green shoots though. :)

    My other thought ....is the area there subjected to water logging? The remaining conifers
    look to be on higher ground??? Wet soil, poor air circulation could exacerbate phytophthora pathogens I think :noidea:
     
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