Atlas Pine - Knowledgebase Question

San Jose, Ca
Question by joannread
June 30, 2010
I have an atlas pine that I bought one year ago. It remains in the container as I plan to use it for bonsai. It started to drop it's needles and turned a little brown about a mth ago. At first I thought that it got too hot but it's been in the shade and did fine last summer. Then I thought it was over watering but watering has been consistent too. No signs of bugs, molds, fungus. Help!


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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It sounds like it may be a root and soil issue. The container the pine is sold in should only be temporary.. The root system may now be too large for the container and need to be removed and re-potted. Remove the pine from the container and inspect the root system. I would guess that the pine may be root-bound and you may need to prune the roots with a sharp knife once you remove the plant from the store container. Replant the pine in a larger pot, preferably a clay pot that drains well. Pines also prefer acidic soil conditions so keep this in mind when replanting and choosing new soil. The only other problem may be that even if you are not over watering, water may now be trapped within the container and causing the deterioration of the plant. The roots need consistent air as well so keep this in mind. Good luck!

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