The Q&A Archives: white pine looking orange

Question: I have planted six white pines in my yard at least 5 years ago. they have grown and i prune them some to maintain shape and remove dead branches. they are around 7-8 ft tall and one turning orange. sometimes in the fall some needles drop that are this color, but the green remains. this one is showing little green now. is it hopeless. should i remove it?

Answer: The orange coloring indicates dead foliage. If the entire tree is orange, it's dead and should be replaced. I don't know why it died, but root stress or insect problems might be the cause. I would first check for insect populations. Spider mites like dry, dusty locations such as you would find on the inner branches of needled evergreens. Take a piece of white paper, hold it beneath an inner branch and tap sharply on the branch. Debris should fall onto the paper. If you see little specks and they move, your tree is hosting a population of spider mites. There are miticides you can spray to rid your tree of these pests. To keep them from taking up residence in your conifers, simply hose the plants off every couple of weeks during the summer months. If you don't find insect pests, the problem is most likely water stress. Landscape trees and shrubs need one inch of water per week, applied slowly so it can trickle down and wet the entire root mass. I dig basins beneath my shrubs and young trees, fill the basin with water, allow to drain, then fill a second time. Once a week is all it takes. Hope this helps!

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