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-japanicus

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.

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  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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