Pine trees are some of the best evergreen conifer trees to plant. They are quite tough, can grow in different soil types, and will withstand harsh climatic conditions, including drought. Because of their remarkable resilience, pine trees require very little maintenance. However, like most trees, they are still susceptible to pests and diseases. To help you deal with this, we’ve prepared a guide on how to revive a pine tree.
How To Spot a Dying Pine Tree?
Several things could interfere with your pine tree’s healthy growth and make it sick, even when it receives proper care. The good news is that your tree will always show specific signs or symptoms to let you know when something is wrong. You can recognize those signs and differentiate between minor and major tree problems. Before we get into how to revive a pine tree, let’s first look at how to tell if your pine tree is dying.
The needles of a healthy pine tree maintain their vibrant green color throughout the year. This is why needle discoloration is usually the most obvious sign of a disease. If you notice your pines turning brown, yellow, or grayish-green, especially on one part of the tree, that might mean your pine tree is dying and requires immediate care.
Another noticeable sign of pine tree sickness is falling branches. Although it’s common for pine trees to lose a few branches now and then due to heavy rains or wind, it’s certainly not normal for them to have weak branches that fall often. If this occurs, it could be a result of a fungal disease.
Sick pine trees make good homes and food for pests, including harmful insects. They burrow easily into the trunks and branches, creating cavities that further harm the trees. Such cavities can also be caused by poor pruning and a decaying tree. You should contact a tree expert as soon as you notice holes in your pine tree.
Spots and Cankers
Cankers are never a good sign. They indicate that your tree is being weakened quickly. Once cankers appear on your pine tree, you need to act fast to have any chance of saving it. Black spots on your pine cones also point to a fungal disease, and are a sure sign that it is time to call an arborist.
It’s normal for animals to peel off small sections of the bark on your pine tree. This might happen when a deer rubs the velvet off its antlers or a bear uses a tree as a scratching post. This sort of damage is minor and is no cause for concern. However, if you see large sections of peeled bark, it may mean your pine tree is dying.
Early or Frequent Needle Drop
Young pine trees are supposed to lose their needles in the late summer, right before autumn. The needle drop only becomes a problem if it happens much earlier in the year and frequently. This could be due to stress or a serious illness.
Excessive Tree Sap
Pine trees ooze small amounts of beautiful golden sap year-round. This especially happens during the budding season in spring and early summer. If your pine tree suddenly starts “bleeding” or leaking large amounts of sap, however, it could mean there’s something wrong. There may also be a problem if the sap is no longer golden or golden-brown.
5 Tips for Reviving a Dying Pine Tree
If any of the symptoms mentioned above affect your pine tree, you must take quick action to save it. Here are a few tips on how to revive a pine tree:
1. Cut Off Affected Parts
The first step to reviving a sick pine tree is cutting off all the affected areas. It’s important to cut off infected or dead branches to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the tree. Be sure to cut the parts at a 45-degree angle to encourage new and healthier growth. Usually, the tree will recover naturally after this. If, however, the disease comes back, you may need to try other methods.
2. Water It More
Pine trees browning gradually from top to bottom may just be suffering from drought. You can fix this by giving your tree more water during the dry season.
To confirm that it is a drought problem, stick your finger into the soil around your tree. If the soil feels dry, it means you need to water your pine tree more often. You can create holes about six inches deep and one foot apart from each other around the brown pine tree, then use a hose to water the holes so that the moisture reaches the roots of the tree faster. Allow the hose to water the soil slowly for about three hours. Do this every three weeks during the dry season until your tree starts looking better.
3. Improve Drainage
If your pine needles start to change color during the rainy season, it may be a sign of waterlogged roots. In this case, you should improve the drainage around your pine tree.
Waterlogged roots could cause further problems, such as root rot. You can install tile drains to capture excess water in the soil to prevent this. You can also add more organic matter to the soil around the pine tree to improve moisture retention and soil drainage.
4. Apply Pesticides or Fungicides
Your pine tree may be suffering from pest infestation and not environmental factors. Check your pine tree’s needles, branches, and bark for insects and holes. If you have a fungus or pest problem, there are fungicides and insecticides you can buy and apply to treat your pine tree. Be sure to contact a gardener in your area or your local home store for the best use type and specific application instructions.
5. Get in Touch With Tree Experts
While the preceding tips on how to revive a pine tree may come in handy, the best thing you can do for your sick tree is to reach out to a professional tree service such as Mr. Tree Services.
Instead of guessing the main problem, you can call our tree surgeons to perform a thorough inspection of your pine tree and determine the best course of action in treating it. To learn more about our tree services and additional details on how to revive a pine tree, don’t hesitate to contact us.