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Specimen Conifer--advice please.
I have a conifer about 25ft tall and about 7ft wide at the skirt, which I put in 27 years ago. It has been looking quite sad for a couple of years. I think it has suffered through dry summers. It is brown and dry under the fringes of green.I would be sorry to lose it as it softens the view of the side-street. Do you think it is beyond help, or would it help (or hurt) it if I took off the 'skirt' branches and left it with the trunk exposed? I bought it as a specimen tree, whatever that really means.



A 'specimen tree' is one that is planted to make a statement or feature PF All big conifers are brown under the outer covering of green. So long as you still have green growing tips I would leave it alone, you could give it a good mulch though not right up to the trunk.

8 Apr, 2011


thanks, Moongrower. I know most are brown in the centre of the tree but this does seem a bit extreme. Will mulch. I'm watching for any fresh growth--fingers crossed!

9 Apr, 2011


I've taken the bottom branches off mine, bcause they were overhanging the path and making it difficult to get out of the car. It has changed the look of the tree but it looks OK.
If you don't like it as it is, try the mulch and if you are still unhappy then cut the branches off - if the alternative is replacing the tree you have nothing to lose.

9 Apr, 2011


Thanks Moongrower and Steragram. I've decided to watch the tree this year and see what happens. Although it has an outer fringe of green, I can't say it's growing fresh tips, but maybe it's early yet. I keep trying to visualise the tree and area with the lower branches removed but would only need to take this step if it would help the tree by its having less foliage to support.

13 Apr, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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