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We have two Prunus cerasifera Nigra trees in our garden, both planted about twenty years ago. One has always grown more vigorously than the other. To keep them from overshadowing the rest of the garden and to keep them at a manageable height, we have always pruned them by about 3 feet every October. All has been fine until this year. The smaller tree has hardly any leaves. In fact, it has only got leaves on about 5% of the tree. It looks on its last legs, where as the bigger tree has bloomed as per usual and looks a splendid specimen. I have asked at our local garden centre what could be the matter and their reply was it had probably come to the end of its life. I on the other hand thought it should live at least 40 years. Any ideas as to what has caused it to die suddenly.



Dear oh dear, I never cease to be aghast at what garden centre staff say....

Check the plant from top to bottom - you're looking for soft spots, weeping, cracks in the bark, mouldy areas, anything that shouldn't be there. Check carefully at the base - if you find nothing, then its likely something's wrong at the root. Given you've got two of them, I'd remove the sick one just in case it is a dose of phytophthera or one of the root rots.

21 Jun, 2016

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