Ask a Question forum: Sudden Death of Mature Shrubs/Trees

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Gillygrim
Aug 19, 2016 2:42 AM CST
I live in the south of England in a terraced house facing south with neighbours either side. There is a small lane running across the north facing back of all our properties with further terraced houses whose back gardens face south. A couple of years ago my neighbour's lovely 25ft Acacia (roughly 15 yrs old) suddenly died off, leaving totally bare, skeletal branches. In spring this year, I noticed that my 20 yr old Ilex, situated between two healthy tinus, was turning brown. Within a week it was completely dead. On returning from a ten week break last week, I saw that the ceanothus (approx ten yrs old) belonging to the neighbour across the lane had also died ! These trees were within a 50 ft radius of each other. Having spoken to both neighbours they have confirmed that they also have no idea as to what caused the sudden demise. As far as we know there has been no building/waterworks/other invasive projects anywhere near the area and wonder if these are simply plants at the end of their life or unhappy coincidence. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 19, 2016 4:24 AM CST
Welcome! Have you or your neighbours seen any mushrooms near the plants? Just wondering about Armillaria, honey fungus. There's a picture and details here:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=180

In some lists holly (Ilex) is not susceptible but the RHS have seen cases. Viburnum is susceptible so unless somehow they've avoided it so far it seems unlikely this would be the cause for the demise of the holly between the two healthy tinus, however.

Did you not have a very cold winter a couple of years ago there?

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