Browning Conifer

cubanlillyApril 13, 2011

Hello! I have a flower bed that gets partial sun and has a low evergreen shrub in it. The bed around the shrub was recently tightly covered with mini boulders that have since been spread out to make room for river rocks to fill out the bed. Well since we moved the rocks and temps started warming up a bit here the shrub began to turn brown. We were surprised as its spring and we thought things would be going strong now. There is also a yew in the same bed that is sparse because of pruning but also has some needles turning brown. Do you all think it could be disease? We would love any help you all could give!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pic of shrub

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Doesn't look good for that pine. May need a few more facts like how long was it in that spot and how it was planted and cared for. It could have been soil compaction, a watering isuue (too much or too little) or a root problem. Any weedkillers used there?


    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:46PM
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I'm not sure when it was planted. We bought the house in June '10 and like I said the only change that has been made was moving the mini boulders around. No weedkillers were used at all! We did remove some bushes from across the sidewalk and put some ant killer to combat some possible carpenter ants there. That was just a week ago and the shrub was fine before then!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:51PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

The thing about conifers is they can be what is called "dead green standing". Those branches could have died during the winter and stayed green until the weather warmed up.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 11:00PM
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Mmmm wonderful. Are we thinking this thing is beyond help? I guess I'll need to start planning if I need to fill that space with something. Thanks so much for the help so far!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 11:06PM
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Dan Staley

Those plants want full sun. Maybe what you did was enough to make it stop trying, combined with many other things going on in the yard, such as weather, improper planting, maltreatment by previous owner...


    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 11:08PM
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It looks beyond help now, I think, but I'm wondering if there's black plastic under the rocks? If so, I'd remove it before planting something else. I'm curious at to what the root ball will look like when you dig it up.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 10:14PM
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That is plastic beneath the rocks! I think the previous owners put it there to protect the foundation and help with drainage. I'm not sure how far the plastic extends but lower in the bed the plastic is only a 16" piece that extends from the foundation into the bed over gravel with soil filled in. So I would guess that the soil there drains very well and does not have much water in it. That might be a problem except that that shrub has lived there with those conditions from before we lived there....

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 11:20AM
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