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My two candyfloss tree saplings after making very good progress in their first winter season started to wither and die back to sad brown twigs after late spring. I had such a promising start with them. What do you think has gone wrong? I planted them in ericacious soil by mistake, misreading instructions, but repotted them in general purpose soil with plenty of well rotted compost. Please help!



I'm assuming, by Candyfloss tree, you mean Cercidiphyllum japonicum. Not easy to say - the fact they were in pots might not have helped, these want to be large trees, so they may not have had the chance to put down long roots when they wanted to. Second, you should never add well rotted compost to a pot unless the compost has been sterilised or produced using a hot, aerobic system. Cold anaerobic heaps produce compost that can contain various pathogens, and contained in a pot, these may cause trouble, where on open ground, they do not. The trees may also have been caught by cold after they started into growth this year, and that might have been enough to polish them off.

Lastly this tree doesn't like lime, it prefers neutral to acidic soil conditions, so actually, it probably would have been better off in ericaceous, or for best results, John Innes No. 3 and ericaceous mixed.

30 Jul, 2015

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