The Q&A Archives: Myrtle tree trunks dying

Question: I have three myrtle trees planted on a slight grade above a wall along driveway. Last year they looked beautiful. This year, two of them have entire trunks which have died. Other trunks on the same two trees seem fine. Is it b/c we put black fabric weed blocker in the area? Or did I harm the trees when I pruned them? (I followed advice I read in Southern Living Magazine).

Answer: Fabric weed block has small holes which allows air and water penetration so I don't think the weed block fabric caused the problem with your myrtles. Winter damage, or over-zealous pruning can stress a tree and cause die back. Diseases can do the same so without being able to inspect the trees personally, I can't really diagnose the problem. If you are sure the trunks are dead you might want to prune/cut them away. Be sure the area is draining well (wet soils can cause root rot). Wish I had more positive news to share with you!

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