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I planted a row of 5 Michelia trees along a fence about 6 months ago, and about 2 months ago they started to look unhealthy, and now one has lost all it’s leaves. They all have splitting all the way up the trunks. What would be causing this as it seems to be killing them? They are planted in a large raised bed, with great soil, watered and drained, are feed, in a sunny position. Thank you

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Hi Erika, sounds like you have taken all the right steps, the one that has lost all its leaves will not recover especially at this time of the year.
In regards to the splitting, we’re not sure what you mean by this, are branches coming away from the main trunk, or is there damage on branches (rasped by insect)?
Although in some cases it is helpful to have plants planted in raised beds we are just concerned that in this case it might be too much.
In raised beds the soil is very often very light and has difficulty keeping trees in place (they move around) causing root damage (leaf drop). The soil in raised beds is often very light and prone to drying out as there is little water holding capacity. The soil tends to shrink exposing the roots of the trees causing stress or alternatively the trees sinks into the friable soil causing the soil to be raised around the trunk, causing the trunk to rot.
Please note these are all possibilities and without seeing the actual plants/environment it is a little guess work. Thanks, the Palmers team

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