The Q&A Archives: Tiny Towers Problems

Question: Problems with Tiny Towers in that interior of plant is full of brown needles, webs and moths. Birds nest in the tree,turning branches out and exposing brown interior. These branches stick out-can I cut them off? Area regrow? A few branch tips are brown and appear dead. Trees are 10 feet tall. Trees are planted on a mound and it is windy. Drip irrigation. Trees shifted this winter at the root ball, wind and rain. Soon I will right the trees, but wonder if it is the best choice before I do the digging and staking. I have four trees. Thank you

Answer: I think I'd tackle all the problems at once. First, reset the trees and stake them if the area is windy. Then remove the bird's nest. The branches may right themselves. Pruning may leave a bare area so let's hope the branches straighten back out. The problems with the interior are probably associated with spider mites, a common pest of evergreens. The webbing is a tell-tale sign, as are dead and dying foliage. Apply a miticide, according to label directions. Brown tips could indicate winter damage, or excessive water or fertilizer. I'd leave them to see where new growth begins, then I'd prune away the dead parts to make room for healthy new growth. You may be surprised how resilient Tiny Towers can be, so don't prune unless the plant part is dead and you see new growth emerging behind it. At that time you can carefully prune away the dead stems and foliage.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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