Has my tree or plant died?

June 17, 2020 1:06 pm


You may think it’s obvious when trees or shrubs have died but it is not always easy to tell. There is a simple way to test if you think the plants have died.

You have to carry out preliminary tests on the buds of trees and shrubs with a small knife or your fingernail. If you uncover green under the bark, the tree is still alive but if you find only brown or black, then sadly it is already dead. Live shoots will have a firm and smooth-feeling bark, while the dead buds can become dry, flaking and peeling.

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If you find a dead bud at the end, try the test again in the thick part of the skin to see if that is also dead. If most of the top of a plant or tree underneath is dark brown, then it is likely the whole plant has died.

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Finally, scratch or scrape the bark of the main root or just below the soil line. If you find that the root is rotten or soft, then you can be pretty sure that your plant is dead. Looking for advice on what has caused a failure in your trees or shrubs? Consider contacting a Tree Surgeon Essex at a site like https://www.benchmarklandscapeltd.co.uk/tree-surgeon-essex/

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, not all new plants and trees flourish in our garden. Buy your plants from a good and reputable nursery. This won’t guarantee success but they should be of a healthier and better quality to begin with. It can be useful to find out why the plant has failed to avoid it happening again.