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With regard to your soil which has been infected with the soil borne Phytophera fungi I would not replant with Leylandii and I would personally replant with a Beech Hedge.------I planted 80 Cypress Leylandii Golden 18 months ago to grow as a hedge and provide a windbreak.
Now that the stable has been removed, the hedging that was behind the stable has gone brown and looks dead, presumably from lack of sunlight. The common Honeysuckle Lonicera Pericylymenum loves to climb up trees and there is also the evergreen Honeysuckle Lonicera Aureapeticulata.Quite often Mike new growth will appear but it will take years rather than months and with Leylandiis which have been neglected you do tend to find that they 'flop open' and you may need to string some wires through your hedge to bring the main shoots closer together.I am afraid there is nothing much else that you can do but if would be worthwhile to give your Leylandii a good base dressing with a fertiliser such as Fish Blood and Bone Meal to encourage new shoots to appear.------There are approximately 10-12 12-15 feet tall Leylandii in my next door neighbour's garden which we both hate and want to kill off. We do not want to spend hours of wasted time and energy as we all work full time.For three decades, Bill has travelled the county with fellow judges as a regional judge for North West in Bloom.So, whatever the problem, we like to think Bill can sort it out…… I have been away from my house for three years but on return topped and trimmed some leylandii in my garden (long overdue.) They were house high and about 6ft deep, but I am worried as to whether the brown/dead growth which now seems to dominate the trees will eventually be replaced by new growth or have I left them for too long and cut them back too much?Can I 'punch' holes in it to plant a row of leylandii, or will I need to expose a large section of earth to get success? Cupressus Leylandii is a vigorous growing tree Ken ands I am slightly worried that the roots will start to lift your tarmac if you plant Leylandii in holes you have made in the concrete.
I feel that a lot will depend on the thickness of your concrete and tarmac and, long term you would be far better exposing a large section of earth to achieve the success you require.
If you are not fond of Honeysuckles I would suggest the vigorous Clematis Montana or the rambling roses.------The leylandii hedge at the bottom of our garden on our neighbour's side has just had 5 feet cut off the top. Cupressus Leylandii makes a good hedge providing you keep it trimmed to the height you require, problems arise when you decide to cut five to six feet from the top of the hedge as you are left with very bare stems and the hedge does have a tendency to flop outwards.
Consequently we have been left with nothing but bare branches and hardly any foliage left (our side has a 6 foot fence in front of the lower part of the hedge). I sympathise with your problem Alison but in time you will get new shoots appearing but this will not happen overnight it will take a number of years for the hedge to recover.------We have a driveway made up of tarmac over concrete.
In February and again in March, I have watered them with a Miracle Grow (one scoop to 7 litres) feed, and have recently noticed a few leaves going slightly brown and flaky (dead) lower down despite some new growth (about 6 inches) at the tops. The holes I planted them in were approximately a square foot in size, and the soil was quite good (not clay - unless the clay layer was beneath).
Have I over watered / over fed / fed too early or under watered them. I haven't dug down to see if they are 'swimming in water' yet.
Two years ago I lost one of the trees, last year another one died, this year another one is showing the same symptoms, the foliage goes paler and appears drier before dying.