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What has killed my ceanothus?


By Nick_l

United Kingdom Gb

Please can you help? I fear the Ceanothus in my front garden has died.

All the leaves have gone brown and dry, and the branches seem to be curling up too.

The year before last, the owners of the house next door hacked off the branches overhanging their path. Could this have killed it?

Or is it just because we have had a cold winter here in the UK this year?

Or is it just old (It’s very big: about six metres tall with a trunk diamete of about 15cm)?

Any advise (or sign of hope) would be most welcome.

With best wishes, Nick.

On plant Ceanothus



Sadly, they don't last for ever. My Ceanothus repens (12' wide by 10' tall) decided to die back on one half last summer - I cut it back as far as healthy growth. During this winter, another branch has died and I have pruned that out too, leaving the rest. I am aware that the last third will probably only last this year and then I shall have to get the roots out!

I think it was old age, it must have been at least 18+ years old. We will both have to look on this as an opportunity to plant something else!

9 Feb, 2009


They do have this sudden death syndrome. Once they begin to go that is it!

9 Feb, 2009


Commiserations, Nick. Ours is in a very similar state now, has been for over a year. Such a shame because they are a great colour. I'll definitely plant another, but don't know if it will want to be on the same spot.

9 Feb, 2009


Troublesome shrubs, although beautiful whilst they last, I agree with all of the above, get it out and replace it as soon as you can to prevent future work

9 Feb, 2009


Once you start to prune (or hack at) Ceanothus it is the beginning of the end. Each year you have to cut off more and more, the shape looks terrible and it doesn't recover. I would replace it in Spring and save yourself the anguish of 2 or 3 more years of it curling up it's toes.

10 Feb, 2009


Yes to all the above - I'm afraid it probably was your neighbour's fault. Hope it won't result in a falling out!

10 Feb, 2009


thanks for the advice, having eavesdropped on the question. Nick this has helped me too.
Sounds as if they just don't like to be cut.

10 Feb, 2009


Many thanks, Everyone, for all your comments and support.
Ironically, the former owners cut back the tree in order to sell their house more easily.
They sold successfully, so they are not around see the longer term result of their handiwork.
The new owners are as sorry as me to see the demise of such an outstandingly beautiful tree.
Anyway, time to think of the future. With best wishes to you all, N.

10 Feb, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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