I have a sickly mini white pine that I bought about 2 years ago. I think its dying. The leaves are turning brown but there are still a few growing. My husband planted some things in front of it. Could that be causing the problem by blocking out light?
Thank you for your inquiry. You are not the first person to experience a problem with their Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus). These trees prefer moist, well-drained, sandy loams that are acidic; they will decline gradually in clay, wet, or alkaline soils. If your soil is less than optimal, amend regularly with compost and acidify as needed. Make sure it gets full sun, since white pine will become less shade tolerant as it matures. Please be advised that white pines are susceptible to white pine blister rust and white pine weevil. Maybe one of these is the more likely cause of your plant’s problem. An article on the Ministry of Natural Resources website has a good diagram and information on this disease. Here is the link: https://www.ontario.ca/page/white-pine-blister-rust
To determine if your tree has this problem look for the following:
1. All needles on one or more individual branches first turn yellow then rusty red
2. The branch with the dead needles will have a canker, a swollen area with discolored and cracked bark
3. Cankers on the main trunk are oval or diamond-shaped; often with a dead branch in the center
4. Sticky clear to white sap exudes from the canker and drips from the branch or runs down the trunk
5. In spring, white to yellow blisters form at the edge of the canker and release powdery orange spores
6. Gummy orange droplets containing spores may be seen along the canker in summer
There are also a couple of excellent responses already posted on our website that are worth checking out. Please follow the links below.
Hope all this helps you out.