Leyland Cypress not doing well. Please help!

shalinimunjalJune 17, 2008

We had a landscaper plant 21 Leylands in our backyard in the beginning of June. When they were planted, the trees were in pretty good shape - the leaves were green. Each had a 30 lb rootball and they were tied in burlap. The trees were purchased from a nursery here in VA. After buying the trees, the landscaper had laid them in our yard (sideways) and it was a couple of days before they were planted.

Many of them are turning brown. We have been watering them pretty consistently. If it doesn't rain, we water. How much water do they need? Why are they turning brown? I checked the stem on the brownest tree is still green inside so I know it's not dead but please help!! The landscaper is not returning our calls and is not coming to see the trees. We got a 1 year guarantee on the trees from him but it's all verbal. I'm really at a loss. Please help!



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ginkgonut(4)

We're they water when they were laying in the yard?

Looks like they got dry.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

I wouldn't worry about watering. They are toast. They went with out water to long.

If they were turning brown from the inside out with tips still green they might have a chance but your is in the reverse order which is not a good sign.

How were they planted? Any chance the burlap and twine were removed? I guess at this stage of the game it's irrelevant.

Go after him and get a refund.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 10:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shalinimunjal

The burlap was not removed while planting.

So there is no chance of reviving them? The stems are still green.

As for those that are still green, how much water should they be given in the first year?

Thanks so much for your help. I'm feeling sick to my stomach. I don't see him refunding for so many trees.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 7:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

A good rule to follow is when soil is dry 2 inches down it's time to water. A slow drip from the hose overnight is usually adequate.

Looks like a lousy planting job with all those stakes and wire for support. Some of them seem to be leaning and not planted vertical. Burlap at least pulled back and twine removed around the trunk are a must.

Wish I could be more positive about your concerns but what I see in the photos is not encourging.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 8:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pineresin

"the landscaper had laid them in our yard (sideways) and it was a couple of days before they were planted"

There, unfortunately, is your answer. No amount of watering after planting is going to revive trees that have already dried out and died.

Get your money back, if necessary under court order (which I fear will be needed, if the character is not answering calls).

And if replanting, choose a different company.

Personally, I'd also use a different species too; Leyland Cypress is decidedly boring. Even better, plant a mixture, that way you are better protected against losses due to disease, which can be very bad with monocultures.

Resin

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 9:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shalinimunjal

I'm going to the nursery today (I know where they were bought from) and going to ask about any guarantee they might have for this. It's not even a month since they were bought. At this point I don't trust the landscaper to do anything right.
The trees were laid out in the sun for atleast 4 days if not more. Granted, we had thunderstorms and that was the reason for not planting them right away but he should have made sure they were watered properly.

Also, he said the reason they're not quite vertical is that the ground was very wet when they were planted and it will shift a little. He was supposed to come weekly and straighten them as needed.

Which other trees are quick growing and could be potential replacements for these? I think there are 7 that will need to be replaced.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

With as suspect as everything this landscaper has done is, I would go check the trunk of the remaining live trees. Dig down a bit to make sure the burlap isn't near ground level (it may even be still tied to the trunk!). Cut it away from the trunk and down into the ground so there is no chance of it sticking out. Then, as you water, make sure the hose is at a slow trickle right at the trunk of each tree. One of a number of bad things with burlap is that it can actually repel water under certain conditions.

tj

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shalinimunjal

Thanks for the suggestion, TJ. I'll be checking that tonight.

The landscaper showed up yesterday finally and said he's going to put in some root stimulator in all the trees today. I highly doubt that's going to do something for the toasted trees but there's no harm in trying. He says he wants to try this first. And then he starts talking about having no money! Where did the money he made from us, and from taking the trees at a discount wholesale price but charging us full price go?? We're beyond disappointed with this project.

Thanks for all your help, guys. I wish I had found this forum earlier. I'll keep you updated.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 1:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pineresin

"Root stimulator" won't do anything for them. It's a scam.

Resin

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 1:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

"The landscaper showed up yesterday finally and said he's going to put in some root stimulator in all the trees today".

That will definitely put them over the top and finish them off.

"And then he starts talking about having no money"!

If you read between the lines that means there is no money to replace your trees.

If by chance you put the trees on a credit card you can go after him with a protest. If he wants to stay in business he will be glad to refund your money.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 4:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardener_sandy

That's one of the saddest looking plantings I've ever seen. How far apart are they, about 6 feet? Leylands get BIG so not only did he neglect the trees while waiting to plant them, but he also sold you about twice as many as you need.

Don't let this contractor talk you into anything but a full refund. Then find somebody that comes with really good recommendations and who will show you some of his previous jobs. This one is inexcusable!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 8:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shalinimunjal

We paid by check. Court order will be the way to go. I don't see him paying anything back but we will take him to court.
They are 6 feet apart on the back and 3 feet apart on the side of the backyard that you can't see from the picture.

Surprisingly, the 3 ft. apart trees are doing a lot better. He advised us to get them planted that way because we wanted a privacy screen. He said we can move them in 2 to 3 years time. We will probably end up having someone else move them to replace the dead ones in the back. Can they be moved safely?

Basically, the worst case scenario has happened. We will go after him even if it costs us a lot of money.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 9:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

"Can they be moved safely"... No not at this time due to their stressed condition. Move them in the fall when everything has gone dormant.

"We will go after him even if it costs us a lot of money"

Better think about that one when you add up lawyers & court cost fees. I say this because he doesn't have any money. Even if you get a judgment against him he will never pay.

Instead put your time and money into replacing this screen with some good nursery stock having greater value or desirability. I wouldn't purchase anything now. Wait till next spring to purchase freshly dug plants. I say this because that will give you time to decide what you want to plant along with finding a honest, competent nursery/landscape person to deal with.

Pay by credit card because this gives you a lot of leverage if the deal goes bad.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 11:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
iog-6

I'm sorry this has happened to you. Do as those in this forum advise.

I too would suggest that you reconsider the use of Leyland Cypresses exclusively or even at all. They are not a great plant generally, a freak of nature that should not have occurred and they have many faults. Before long you would feel like you are living inside a green canyon, even if you regulate the height and keep them perfectly trimmed. Some time ago some one in this forum, possibly ken_adrian, but I could be wrong, suggested to some one that they not forget the idea of planting for privacy up closer, in essence creating a hidden patio. This could be done with a variety of conifers, providing you with great beauty all year. You could plant others further back or try to salvage some of the Leylands if you can, if you really want to go that route, creating depth and further variety. Go to a good conifer nursery and take it all in. You may discover possibilities that you never knew existed, as a result of this nightmare. I hope things work out for you.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanforestglade(UK z8-9)

If litigation costs in the US what they are here in the UK and you are not expecting your landscaper to be able to re-imburse you, just thank your lucky stars that the trees have died and you have been saved from all the bother you would be involved with, should the wretched things have lived. Your yard does not look that big and you would have been engulfed by them. They would have sucked out all the moisture from the soil and eventually blocked out the sun from either you or your neighbours. You have had a lucky escape; however disappointing it may seem to you now.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 2:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

They went too long without water.

That said, they really aren't good for hot summer climates.

It seems like the builders and landscapers here plant NOTHING but Leyland Cypress, and honestly, they don't like our heat here in summer and never look good after about age 10.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 12:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Many landscaping companies hire guys that barely know how to IDENTIFY most plants, let alone know a darn thing about planting them right or caring for them.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 12:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
john3991(8b)

How did your Leylands turn out ?

Hope you managed to salvage most of them.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 2:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
iforgotitsonevermind(♪☺♫)

You could remove about 75% of those trees anyway and they'll fill in. You could interplant in front with a slower growing desirable species like southern magnolia which is evergreen for privacy and long lived. One or two of them will screen the whole back of the lot. Perhaps some wax myrtle and hollies would be good to add to the mix.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 9:55AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Deodar Cedar planted out back....
Finally got the hole dug and the Cedar in-ground. Lots...
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a
Name Game
Hi Folks, Im making a few name tags today and im stuck...
alley_cat_gw
Pseudotsuga macrocarpa photo
A photo of my plant
bluethuja
Pseudotsuga macrocarpa
A photo of my plant
bluethuja
"Best" Pseudotsuga for cold, eastern areas.
I'd like to add just a few Doug-trees to my menagerie...
wisconsitom
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™