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Shrubs are dying :(

We planted 10 Japanese shrubs along the front of our house this fall.  Now, all but 4 are showing signs of dying.  We have done what the nursery told us:  water deeply, every so many days.  Aka we water about 1 hour per 3 days.  But now 6 of them are showing major signs of dying.  My mother mentioned 'wounding' the root  ball, which we didn't really do when we planted.  So DH went back and 'wounded' the dying ones on one side.  We've seen no difference in the last 3 weeks though.  I'm afraid they'll all die.  Of course, our nursery says we can return them for a half off discount, but we'd rather these guys pull through.  Any ideas?  We completely tilled down at least two feet before planting, and added brand new dirt to the beds before planting.  We water on a schedule in correspondence with our nursery's suggestions.  Just stumped, and sad.  My grandmother passed away this summer and left us a little money, so these are 'her' shrubs, and I really want them to thrive and do her green thumb justice.

[IMG]http://i823.photobucket.com/albums/zz159/agoodse/peppermin2.jpg[/IMG]

Pepper, the not so wonder pup

Re: Shrubs are dying :(

  • The most common reason new plantings die is draught, or lack of water. Most people who think they are watering adequately aren't. I can't really give a definitive diagnosis sight unseen, however.

    What is wounding the root ball? I've been in the horticulture industry for many years and have never heard of this. Is that like slicing it?

    [url=http://www.myfitnesspal.com/weight-loss-ticker][img]http://tickers.myfitnesspal.com/ticker/show/1877/160/18770160.png[/img][/url]
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  • According to the people that own the nursery chain, it is breaking up the root ball before planting.  We watered deeply (every other day) according to the nursery's suggestions, so I don't think it's drought.  I guess it's a good thing they offer a guarantee if any plants die... One that we went back and wounded is showing some signs of new growth, so I'm hopeful at least that one may come back.  Thank you for the help.

    [IMG]http://i823.photobucket.com/albums/zz159/agoodse/peppermin2.jpg[/IMG]

    Pepper, the not so wonder pup
  • Interesting. I have never heard breaking up the root ball called wounding.

    My standard practice is to bare root everything, meaning remove ALL the soil from the roots prior to planting. Is that the same thing?

    And when you say deep water, how do you mean exactly? Like how do you apply the water? Do you use a hose or an automated irrigation system?

    What volume of water do you apply? How long do you apply it? What time of day?

    All these are important factors.

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  • We usually do evening waterings, using a sprinkler, for an hour at a time.  I *wish* we had an irrigation system; maybe some day.
    [IMG]http://i823.photobucket.com/albums/zz159/agoodse/peppermin2.jpg[/IMG]

    Pepper, the not so wonder pup
  • So what kind of shrubs are these (botanical name)? What does the foliage look like?

    Can you post pics?

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  • Hellers Japanese Hollies, the foliage of a few of the more dead looking ones have since revived after another go at 'wounding' the root ball.  One on each end are certainly dead and may or may not return, but most are recuperating and get over what looks like might have been an initial shock.

    [IMG]http://i823.photobucket.com/albums/zz159/agoodse/peppermin2.jpg[/IMG]

    Pepper, the not so wonder pup
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