The Q&A Archives: White Pine Needles Turning Brown

Question: I recently had several eight foot white pine trees transplanted into my back yard. They have been watered regularly and have been fertilized with an all purpose fertilizer. They are in full sun, clay soil. Although they have new growth, all of them have needles which are turning brown, tip first, and eventually falling off. Is this a symptom of transplant shock, or is it more likely caused by culture or disease?

Answer: First of all, I suggest you contact the company that did the planting, and explain the situation. They may offer some type of guarantee, and may be willing to come out and check on them. I'm sure it was a considerable expense, so I wouldn't wait to contact them to see if the trees can be saved.

These are quite large trees, and the larger the tree, generally the worse the transplant shock. Heavy clay soil is challenging for any plant, so this can compound the problem. If the new growth looks healthy and green, my guess is they'll survive. If it, too, is turning brown, I'd worry that they are in trouble.

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