What could this be?

We have two small conifer's outside our house and from the bottom upwards they have gone brown, so we cut off all the dead and gave it some fresh soil but we pulled out what looked like a bread roll - what could this be? a fungus? and is this why the tree went brown? Also, now we've cut the dead off, we'll the green grow back or should we give them up as a bad job?
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rhs


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rhs;878909 Wrote: > We have two small conifer's outside our house and from the bottom > upwards they have gone brown, so we cut off all the dead and gave it > some fresh soil but we pulled out what looked like a bread roll - what > could this be? a fungus? and is this why the tree went brown? Also, now > we've cut the dead off, we'll the green grow back or should we give them > up as a bad job?
Have you got cats or are there any cats in the area? Their spray can turn them brown. Once they go brown, they will not come back again. You can always lollypop them and have a green ball on the top and plant something else below them.
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GardenOasis


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GardenOasis;879017 Wrote: > Have you got cats or are there any cats in the area? Their spray can > turn them brown. Once they go brown, they will not come back again. You > can always lollypop them and have a green ball on the top and plant > something else below them.
We don't actually have any cats nearby but at least we know now, they're not going to come back to life, we can pull them up and plant something new. Any suggestions what I should put in their place?
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rhs


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