The Q&A Archives: sick thunderhead pine

Question: We have a

Answer: I apologize if you receive this more than once, my internet connection is a little shaky today possibly due to high volume.

Unfortunately, based on your description I am not able to tell you specifically what is wrong with your pine. Since it had been planted for some time already and should have been quite well established, I would not immediately suspect lack of water. It might be due to poor rooting which then would limit the take-up of moisture, it might be related to a pest or disease problem as well. And daily watering would then possibly cause a situation where the roots are in soil that is overly wet -- and this in itself can cause problems such as root damage.

Whenever something like this begins to appear it is a good idea to have it diagnosed as soon as you can in case it is something that can be controlled. Since it is all brown or continuing to brown, it may not be possible to save it at this point. However I would suggest you work with your county extension to try to get a firm identification of what has happened and based on knowing that, determine how to proceed. They may appreciate photos of the overall plant and some close-ups of the browning as well as possibly a sample of foliage that is just beginning to show the symptoms. If it is something that requires a chemical control they will have the most up to date information on what to use and how/when best to apply it. I'm really sorry about your pine.

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