Emerald Spreader Yew Dying

junebugntn(7B)June 30, 2012

Hi all! It's 105 today, too hot to be out in the yard so here I am again...with a problem. The Emerald Spreader Yew I planted 1-2 years ago is dying! I have it on drip irrigation, is it too wet??? It has spider webs on it...is it spider mites??? The Alberta Spruce is also turning brown. Any help is appreciated.

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

When you dig into the ground 8" to 10", what do you find? Is it moist or dry? How frequently is your drip irrigation supplying water and how much? Almost all trees and shrubs do much better with occasional, deep watering instead of frequent, light watering; which is your tree receiving? What is your soil's drainage like?

What does the damage on your plants look like? Do the webs look more like spider mite webs (pretty tightly woven, kind of draped over the plant, etc) or more like "typical" spider webs? Do you see spiders on the webs?

As for the Alberta Spruce, those things are way too much trouble, IMO. I've seen hundreds in landscapes, but rarely a healthy one. Never judge your gardening ability on that finicky foo-foo fiasco.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:10AM
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I have attached a photo that somewhat shows the plants problem. I do have lots of clay in my soil but add compost to try to enhance. When putting a water meter down 6"-8" it is more on the wet side of the meter in most cases. I have turned off the drip. I guess what confuses me is that the plants start turning yellow they seem dried out and brittle as they go to brown. Could it still be too much water?

I think the webs are closely woven between branches. I will look more closely this evening.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 10:36AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

The picture didn't come through.

Amending the soil may be a big part of your problem. It's almost never a good idea, and probably especially not with clay soil. Amendments frequently tend to exaggerate moisture levels, making the soil even swampier in wet times and allowing it to be even drier in dry times. Any reputable source of info about planting will advise not amending backfill soil when planting woody plants.

Dried out, brittle plants can be a sign of root rot. When the roots rot because of poor drainage, the plant looses its ability to suck up enough water even though the soil may be wet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting a Tree or Shrub - especially see section 7

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Any suggestions for this type area? Overview - Fair drainage, 1-2 hrs sun in part of bed, 2-3 hrs afternoon sun. About 250 sq ft bed. May start moving things around in the fall. Varigated abelia is doing well. Most day lilies ok. Just planted Catawba crepe myrtle. Some yew are fine. Azaleas fair. Foundation bed next to house.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 1:55PM
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As a follow up, I have more of my Spreader Yews yellowing and probably dieing. These are part of my foundation plantings and so I need to find something that will survive my only fair draining clay soil. SUGGESTIONS for 3-4 ft evergreens that can survive my native soil? Things surviving are dwarf Nandinas, Daylilies, Knock out Roses, Heath, Sky Pencil Hollies.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 10:46PM
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