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I have a customer who is losing his Red Western Cedars / Thuja's. The smaller ones start at 13' high going up to about 17' further down the row. He had about 32 of them planted around 3 years ago (before we took the maint on).  It looks like whatever is happening is spreading along the line although the 3rd tree was ok in November but the 4th wasn't, but not now. 

I need someone who can come out and ID why they are dying as I am out of my comfort zone due to the size and qty to potentially replace (at customers cost).

This was November last year - see futher down for today...

This was today

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  • PRO

    It could possibly be a water issue with the size of the tree at the side of them.

    • PRO

      I did think that but tree 3 being green and tree 4 dying didn't make sense.  Although they are both dying now.  But tree 3 was green last November so wouldn't have thought it was drought.

  • Hi Darren,

    I would tend to agree with Dave. They look like  monster specimens from that photo and would take at the very least 2-3 years to settle in.Thus they would need copious amounts of water in that period. With last years drought  factored in ,plus as Dave says the big pine tree competing for the water and nutrients I would guess it's the reason. 



    • PRO

      If they have been in three years 'before' this problem has started then id think lack of water might not be the problem although last years drought could have pushed them over the edge as it is the ones in the driest situation that are going first. But rather than death by lack of moisture this could be Conifer die back or Pestalotiopsis dieback -- which could have been brought on by the drought stressing the plants out.

      In most cases Conifer die back starts at the leaf tips and works its way back into the plant browning from outside to inside. Ironically a wet spring makes this spread faster. Conifer aphid also helps spread the problems have a look for them. Id say first step is get a proper id then work to stop the spread -- id certainly think about starting treating all plants with a liquid seaweed root drench or similar to ensure some health. 

      I would assume you could take some sets of detailed photos and maybe a few leaf samples and send them for a test to id ? Maybe someone like Progreen could help -- or advise on where to get samples tested?

      Conifers: Pestalotiopsis disease / RHS Gardening
      This fungal dieback disease seems to have increased in significance on garden conifers in recent years. Weakened plants, or those suffering from phys…
      • PRO

        Cheers Dan, I'll have to see where I can them tested but I'm reluctant to get too involved as I don't want it to become MY problem.  Although the client does need some guidance.

        Conifers: Pestalotiopsis disease / RHS Gardening
        This fungal dieback disease seems to have increased in significance on garden conifers in recent years. Weakened plants, or those suffering from phys…
        • PRO

          The beauty of not advising on the plant choice, not supplying the plants , and not planting the plants is you are home free :) If you like you can make some money from supplying products that may or may not fix the problem -- its kind of win win -- you cant be expected to solve a problem you have inherited but if you do or can help with it containing it, then you can add some upsell to your maintanence. I have loads of clients that choose their own plants and buy them through wholesalers etc -- i used to be annoyed -- now i feel a sense of relief -- and when they fail or stress out -- i try and upsell a product that may have a chance to help but with no guarantees. I dont mean you sell them something that wont work - i just mean the probelm is there and its not of your doing -- at that point trying things that might solve it can be a reasonable and fair upsell.  

          Conifers: Pestalotiopsis disease / RHS Gardening
          This fungal dieback disease seems to have increased in significance on garden conifers in recent years. Weakened plants, or those suffering from phys…
    • PRO

      Hi Paul, see my reply to Dave.  Also, the client has a seep hose running along them.  They actaully overwatered their pleached Yews (in the back garden) and used so much water the water authority thought they had a burst pipe!

  • PRO

    The fence behind looks new Darren. 

    Were the roots disturbed/damaged when the fence was erected?

    • PRO

      They were put in after the fence Phil, in fact, the client admitted the fence was a waste of money as they can't see it!


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