How to Treat a Pine Tree Turning Brown

May 5, 2023

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How do you treat a pine tree turning brown or otherwise showing signs of distress? This is a vital question for property owners! In many cases, you can prevent pine tree death but only if you address damage or disease quickly.

To treat a pine tree turning brown:

  • Water the soil properly while improving drainage.
  • Remove affected parts.
  • Apply fungicides where needed.
  • Address any insect or rodent infestation.

To help keep your trees in excellent health, consider these steps in greater detail. It’s also helpful to note signs of tree distress and when it’s simply not salvageable. Then, you can call a tree services contractor near you if needed.

Is a Pine Tree Dying When Needles Turn Brown?

Before you treat a pine tree turning brown, it’s helpful to consider if this is an issue that needs addressing. In truth, even though they’re called evergreens, it’s not unusual for some pine tree needles to turn brown. The tree might also lose those few needles throughout the year.

Dehydration is one common cause of brown and dropped needles. In turn, you might notice this issue more prominently during the hot summer months. Also, a healthy tree will usually still have many green, healthy needles even when dehydrated. Consequently, this issue usually corrects itself as the weather changes.

On the other hand, lots of brown needles that don’t fall often signal tree disease and distress. Property owners also don’t want to overlook thin or sparse branch growth and a cracked trunk.

Dried resin, fungi growth, insect infestation, and dying branches also indicate a tree in distress. Lastly, a leaning tree needs immediate attention so that it doesn’t snap and fall without warning! This is especially vital the more severe the leaning.

how to treat pine tree turning brown

How to Treat a Pine Tree Turning Brown

To treat a pine tree turning brown, first consider common reasons for tree distress, including:

  • Environmental stress, including dehydration and extreme temperatures.
  • Diseases such as root rot and canker or spots of rotted tree bark.
  • Insect and rodent infestation risks tree damage from the inside out!
  • Outside factors such as excavation or vandalism can weaken trees and risk early death.

To better understand how to address pine tree damage, let’s break some treatment suggestions down into more detail.

Soil management to encourage pine tree growth

Drought or dry soil often means pine tree damage, as said. To test the soil around the tree, just stick a finger into the dirt! If the soil feels overly dry, the tree probably needs added watering. An underground irrigation system can direct moisture from your property’s soil to the tree.

If you cannot afford to install a new irrigation system, use a sprinkler around the tree once per day. You can even use a garden hose and water it by hand! Monitor the tree’s condition to note if the needles appear healthy again.

On the other hand, too much soil moisture can risk root rot and other damage. Use the same finger test above and note if the soil feels extremely damp or muddy. If so, your property might need improved drainage. You can grade or slope the soil away from the tree to help remove some moisture from the dirt.

Treating tree disease

Better drainage often allows a tree to recover from root rot on its own. However, for issues like fungi growth or other diseases, start by cutting off affected branches. Remember to cut those branches at an angle so you don’t wound them.

Next, apply a store-bought treatment designed for pine trees in particular. Always follow the package directions, and don’t assume that more treatment is better! Monitor the tree’s condition for improvement. If it remains brown and wilted, call a tree expert for a thorough evaluation.

Treating tree infestation

While the occasional bird’s nest is not typically damaging to trees, some rodent and insect infestations risk tree death. Pests can eat trees from the inside while their droppings risk damage and disease.

If you suspect an infestation, monitor the tree for pests moving in and out of its trunk or roosting in the branches. Also, check for holes used by pests to get inside the tree.

Once you’ve determined the type of pest infesting the tree, apply a pesticide accordingly. Again, don’t overdo it with these chemicals but follow the package instructions carefully. Ensure you water and fertilize the tree as well to encourage healthy growth as it recovers.

How to treat damaged trees

Property owners might need to intervene when it comes to a damaged tree. For instance, construction or excavation can result in loose or unhealthy soil. Treating the soil with lime can strengthen it and correct its pH.

Also, a tree services expert can install cabling or other braces for vandalized or damaged trees. These provide support for the tree so it can grow healthy again. Additionally, bracing or cabling prevents the tree from falling unexpectedly.

Is a Pine Tree Dead When All Needles Are Brown?

Brown needles don’t always indicate tree death, as said. In cases of drought or other temporary issues, a tree might return to good health on its own. However, all brown needles that don’t fall typically indicate severe disease or death.

In these cases, it’s often best for a property owner to consult with a tree services contractor. He or she can examine the tree’s bark, damaged branches, surrounding soil, and the like. They might spot a reason for those brown needles being overlooked by a property owner.

For instance, an arborist or tree contractor might spot pests or signs of poor soil conditions. They can also evaluate any treatment you’ve attempted yourself, such as applying fungicide. In turn, they can recommend a better treatment or note if the tree needs full removal.

Ann Arbor Tree Trimming & Removal Service is happy to explain how to treat a pine tree turning brown. Hopefully, we’ve offered you some practical tips to apply for your property! Also, if you’re in the vicinity, call our Ann Arbor tree services contractors for expert help. We can evaluate struggling trees and recommend treatment options. Additionally, our team offers full-service care, including trimming, bracing, and soil treatments. You can also call us when it’s time for stump grinding, hedge trimming, and land clearing! To find out more, just reach out to our team today.


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