The Q&A Archives: browning pom pom tree

Question: I have a pine tree with the 2 balls (that's how much I know about gardening!!) and it has done very well the past 2 years. Two months agpo it started turning brown and it is getting progressively worse. What could be the problem?

Answer: There are many different possible causes for your topiary to look as though it is drying out. Unfortunately it is very difficult to diagnose long distance because it could be several different insects, different diseases, or even winter kill, a root problem or an environmental stress. You can start by inspecting for insects (spider mites love evergreens) and for signs of diseases. If you find nothing out of the ordinary, then inspect the roots and the soil drainage. Healthy roots are creamy white inside, diseased or dying roots will be brown, rusty colored or black. Rotted roots may even have an odor. Aside from the above, you may have to take your plant to your local cooperative extension office for help in diagnosising the problem. Hope it's nothing serious!

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