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Q.Is This Plant Dead?

Zone Dorset | Leward added on September 19, 2020 | Answered

I’ve just bought a new flat with this lovely looking tree growing up the middle of a wall. However I’m unsure if it is dead or not? It had been completely covered by what I think is Virginia creeper so I’m not sure what it is and if it is revivable? It has lots of dead looking branches at the top that are quite brittle. I’m a gardening novice but would like to keep the tree if I can. Thanks

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 20, 2020

This test tells you how to scrape a tree trunk to reveal the cambium layer below. If it is green, the plant is still alive.


If it is green underneath the bark, try cutting back the top branches to encourage new growth. If it is not, you could cut off the dead branches and use the trunks as a support for a new vine.

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