My Styrax japonicus up and died!

My beautiful Styrax japonicus tree bit the dust.  Two years ago, I splurged and bought this beautiful tall specimen tree. That first summer we had a mild drought but I kept the tree well-watered. Last summer, our drought was in the extreme category and a citywide ordinance banned outdoor watering. I dragged every container I had beneath the drip line of the roof and collected water like crazy… 100 gal. at a time during our rare rainstorms and I soaked the tree well…. I thought. But maybe it wasn’t enough.

This spring, with most of the tree dead and only a few branches leafed out, I decided to act. I cut it down.


Styrax japonicus

I left the suckers at the base, fertilized and kept them watered, hoping that the roots would support them enough to grow a styrax shrub. So far so good. The shrub seems to be fast growing.

So I didn’t get the sweetly scented pendulous white bells this spring and I won’t have the beautiful fruit this year, but fingers crossed that I’ll have a lovely full styrax shrub next spring as a focal point in the garden.

The wood from the tree did not go to waste. I saved the trunk and all the twigs and branches, cut them into short lengths, and built a small solitary bee house.  No solitary bees yet, but I saw two ladybugs wandering in and out.  All good….

solitary bee house



13 thoughts on “My Styrax japonicus up and died!

    • No pink sap. It just seemed a failure to thrive. I knew I was taking a chance in this zone. Perhaps I should have chosen a more sheltered spot closer to the foundation instead of out in the open. I had three of these beauties in Virginia… one old 30′ foot tree and two young trees.. all healthy.


  1. Despite enough rain here near Atlanta to float an ark, we’re told we’re still in a drought. Seems we have been for most of the 30 or so years I’ve been in the South. Not sure if that was the case in your former hometown, but you’d *think* such a drastic change of distance might grant a reprieve.

    It sounds like you went to great lengths to keep the tree watered. Is there anything else that might’ve caused its demise?


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