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browning of small pine tree

Posted by saleh14 none (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 4:41

I have a pine tree in a pot I put it in my south facing balcony
It has been neglected little
I water it once every week or sometimes every 4 days
I just water it I am not even look at it's needles in the other side of it ( I mean the part that not facing me when I water it )

Today I turned it and I see brown needles at the upper side of it and this browning is from only the side that facing sun I hope that I make you understand me .

The brown needles is very brittle all the tiny brown hairs of needles fall off when I touch it. I water it now after I see this problem . do you think this is under-watering sign?I didn't water it for a week

The weather here now is about 23 c at night to
30 c\afternoon

should I prune these needles? and how to water it correctly ?
should I re-pot it ?and move it to more sunny place?
please give me your advice I love this tree so much

thank you

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: browning of small pine tree

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 8:22

Your pine is Picea glauca 'Conica' - dwarf Alberta spruce. They are very attractive to spider mites, and often need protection from drying winter winds - almost always when they are in containers.

Do the bare branches have viable buds on them?

It probably needs repotting, too ...... not potting up - repotting.


RE: browning of small pine tree

all I can add is they are also easily sun burned in winter and drought summers, and fall....they need water and spraying to keep the needles moist.....and sorry to say the dried off part very seldom grows back, look for new buds but they usually don't......
I just seen about one hundred of theses yesterday and all dead....we are in a drought up here (mn) and I guess they couldn't keep up with the watering and they didn't wrap them for the winter. theses get sunburned up here easily in winter with the reflection of the sun off the snow its a double dose of sun....(like when you are on a lake in the summer the sun reflects off the water)....
repot and keep moist and protect from the hot long as its in a pot....good luck...linda

RE: browning of small pine tree

Thank you for reply's
the bare parts have previously new growth but it looks like it is not healthy however there is new growth in other part of it

I started misting it every night
I will re-pot it tomorrow
how often should I water it?
Is finger rule , which I use with all my indoor plants, being the proper way for it?

RE: browning of small pine tree

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 15:32

Technically, sunburn and wind-burn are different. Sunburn comes from high light intensity levels that cause chlorophyll molecules to rise to a more excited state than normal. If light levels are high enough, the energy that is released as electrons in molecules return to their normal energy state may be sufficient to form oxygen radicals from O2. These are the same O2- radicals found in H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) and are extremely reactive particles that readily destroy chlorophyll molecules. The entire process and technical term is photo oxidation, but we generally refer to it as sunburn.

In winter, dwarf spruce in northerly climes react to the fact that the wind (helped along by the warm temps created by the sun load) is removing moisture from the plant's leaves faster than the plant can replace it. So, the plant doesn't really suffer the photo oxidation caused by a light load that's too intense, it's suffers from dessication.

Where do you live Saleh? Given how warm it is there, unless you let the plant get very dry over the winter, it seems more likely the problem is related to mites (very common on DAS) than anything else, but it's hard to say w/o more info.

Misting it isn't going to help - repotting probably will, if you really do a repot, instead of just potting up. The plant likes an evenly damp soil, but doesn't like wet feet. This requires a soil you can water copiously without having to worry that the lower half of the soil is going to remain waterlogged because it doesn't want to drain.


RE: browning of small pine tree

Thank you for all helpful information
you helped me a lot
I live In Iraq , the weather is warm and dry .
I am going to re-pot the plant hope that will help
I purchased this plant on Xmas and I put Christmas balls on it , It was so pretty until this issue .I upload a photo for you to see it . Hope I can do that again next Xmas

This post was edited by saleh14 on Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 16:32

RE: browning of small pine tree

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 17:17

The plant doesn't do well inside, and it needs a cold winter rest - 1,500 - 2,000 chill units, which translates to about that many hours at temps between about -1 to about 5.5C. If it didn't get its winter rest, it's unlikely to make it through the next growth cycle. Best luck.


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