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Defoliated Golden king

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Hello, we have a couple of these shrubs withing 10 feet of each other, all planted last year of about 5 years old and all were going great guns, even through this last Winter. One of them, some 4 weeks ago starting shedding, along with other evergreens generally so we didn't think much about it, but it didn't stop and is now completely devoid of leaves. I have checked for black spot but all "dead" leaves were ok? All the leaves were still green when it shed.! Any ideas? I am just leaving it there to see whether it gets over whatever shock it had. Many thanks.........Michael

  • Views: 1123
  • Replies: 5
  • Posted: Sun. 23rd May 2010 16:44

Re: Defoliated Golden king

Reply from Katy Elton

Hi Michael,

How strange! And there’s no evidence of pests anywhere on the plant? (Aphids, scale insect etc?). It may seem an obvious question but is there anything different about the site of this particular plant to the others – i.e. is it any more exposed to the elements, or does it receive any more or less water?

At this stage I’d advise you to mulch around the plant with some organic matter, keep it regularly watered and hope that it will recover fully.

Hope this helps – do keep us posted!


  • Posted: Wed. 26th May 2010 15:36

Re: Re: Defoliated Golden king


Thanks for the thoughts Katy and, no, there's nothing particularly different about the position of this one against the other. I have kept it watered since, but I will take your advice and put some mulch around it. Many thanks for taking the time..........Michael.

  • Posted: Thu. 27th May 2010 13:41

Re: Re: Re: Defoliated Golden king

Reply from Tomas Palfi

Hi Michael, have you found out what was causing the golden king to loose its leaves? I have grown a hedge from these and for the past 7 years there have been no problems, however, now they are loosing leaves very much. In fact, they are practically bare. The only thing which I added was horse manure. Have I changed the PH of the soil for more acidic by adding the manure? I am completely devastated - any help needed please
kind regards,

  • Posted: Fri. 14th January 2011 17:52

Re: Defoliated Golden king


Hello Tom, I deeply sympathise! I'm afraid I never really discovered exactly what happened to mine, except that after I removed it, which was some months later (I'd left it in just in case anything came up from the root), I found the whole thing swimming in water!! I have clay soil about 18" down and it was planted next to a low boundary wall, so maybe the water couldn't escape and it drowned!!
Assuming it was well-rotted horse manure, I can't imagine that was the problem, so I'm sorry Tom, I'm not able to quell your fears, Except! We've just had a really cold spell and come into warmer temperatures and that, at the time was exactly when I noticed mine last year (March/April 2010) Good Luck.....Michael

  • Posted: Sun. 16th January 2011 20:03

Re: Defoliated Golden king

Reply from Bali-Hai Mail Order Nursery

I would say it is frost damage last winter was very severe on all evergreens. Ilex like heavy clay soil so that is not a problem but they do not like to sit constantly in water over the winter period.

  • Posted: Sat. 7th January 2012 17:48