Posted: 30/09/2014 at 15:23
They look dead to me. When were they planted there and how much water have they had? This has been a very dry year and if this was their first or second year, trees of that size will have needed quite a bit of water in order to establish.
I presume there's landscaping fabric under the gravel - how close is the fabric to the base of the trees. Although landscaping fabric should be water permeable, I'm yet to be convinced that it lets as much water through to the soil that falls as rain.