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Hi there, i planted about 70 hornbeam plants in march of this year, i bought them bare rooted and they were 4/5 feet tall, the problem is about half of them are thriving and the other half have no leaves on them at all, just the dead brown ones from last year. All of the hedging is planted in the same area, same soil, exactly the same amount of manure compost etc was given to each plant. I have scraped the stems of the bare plants and there seems to be green under the bark, which suggests to me that maybe they are still alive? I don't know whether to replace the  non growing plants this winter/spring or whether to give them a chance to grow next year. I don't want to end up with a half  grown patchy hedge. Any advice would be greatly appreciated


Hi Legoboy

Are the brown ones all together, or are they mixed up with the ones that are thriving?


I would definitely go back to the grower and let him know.  You will want the ded ones replaced in the autumn.

Locally, miles of mixed hedging was planted after major new roadworks.  There are very, very few dead plants.  I think you got a bad lot and at 4 - 5 ft they must have been expensive!

The brown plants are mixed with the plants that are growing, there doesn't seem to be any logic as to why the plants on either side of them are growing


I'd say don't give up on them yet.  If they have green cores they are not dead, so don't rip them out yet...they might possibly just be slow.  Our hornbeam hedge has a few plants in it that are always three weeks behind the rest...(although I admit yours sound very very late now)

Let us know how you get on?



I have had these exact same symptoms this year. I planted about 100 hornbeam bare root at about 6/7ft. so slightly larger plants. the soil was in good condition. mychorizal fungi was used, as was a base dressing of fert. And finally a bark mulch was put down to aid with water retention in this dry year.

I have been scratching my head with this one i'm afraid. Been checking them regular for new signs and at present of the 100 ive definately lost about 10. then about 40 are fine and all leafed up with the other 50 in varied degrees of either leaf break or still dormant. but green sap wood. spoken with growers and other professionals about this. everybody clueless.


It was a very long, cold, wet winter for newly planted trees to deal with.

Our hornbeam hedge looked dead for a couple of months and most of the plants lost their leaves, however now the branches look to be full of new buds - does it sound right to have new buds in November?


The milder weather has caused lots of plants of all types to be springing into life early Kayjay. Spring bulbs are doing the same - when the weather becomes cold enough the growth will slow. I wouldn't worry too much - Hornbeam's pretty tough. It makes a beautiful hedge. 


Kayjay, that's normal. 

There are buds on all the trees, have a look around at others.

what happened to your horn beams ? My trees have the same problem.

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