Keeping a pine tree, popularly known as the Christmas tree, in your garden can take its beauty to the next level. Whether it is medium-sized in the planter or a tall tree in your garden, pine is a perennial or evergreen plant that usually does not turn all yellow and sheds off its entire foliage during the autumn or winter months.
Let’s give you an insight into the causes of pine trees with yellow leaves and what can be done to prevent this phenomenon.
Reasons And Remedies Of Yellowing Pine Tree
There can be several reasons responsible for Pine Chlorosis or the yellowing of pine trees, which include:
Reason 1: The Common Seasonal Needle Loss
During autumn, the mature pine needles of trees over three years old will become yellow and then reddish brown to fall eventually. This yellowing usually occurs in the interior foliage of different types of pine trees.
You don’t need to take any precautions if the leaves are getting yellow due to a natural affair or seasonal change.
Reason 2: Overwatering
They prefer receiving a sufficient amount of water during the dry months. However, overwatering them can also cause the yellowing of pine leaves because the roots do not get enough oxygen. You will come across droopiness and yellow needles in case of overwatering pine plants.
Cut down on the amount of watering if you think overwatering is the cause of your pine tree getting yellow. Also, to be extra sure, you can apply a soil moisture meter to examine the soil in your tree’s surroundings. Even you can dip your finger a few inches into the ground to check its condition. If you find it moist, even a few inches deep, let it dry before watering again.
Reason 3: Winter Sun Scald
The winter's environmental conditions, like low soil moisture, dry air, and winter winds, make the pine plant vulnerable to the intense sunlight of winter. This condition is called winter sunscald. In this case, you will observe the most exposed side of the tree to the winter winds become yellow. On the contrary, the interior part remains protected, while this yellowing mostly happens to the tips of the branches.
The sun scald will recover with time. However, the yellowing will remain until the upcoming season. To control the risk of winter sun scald, you can put water on the pine tree once or twice every month if the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius.
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Reason 4: Pine Tree Mite Damage
Some insects can also cause the yellowing of leaves. One of the most famous examples is Spider mites. They gulp chlorophyll from the leaves, which is responsible for maintaining the leaves' green colour. If mites cause yellowing, you will see spots and yellow stippling on the needles. In case of over-infestation, the tree will lose its needles eventually, with fine webbing on the stems.
Some sprays of water can wash away the mites in the case of small pine plants. However, a severe infestation may need insecticidal soap. In drought-like conditions, it is more exposed to such mites. Therefore, a layer of mulch can be one of the natural healing remedies to maintain the excellent health of the pine plant, offering it better resistance power from mites.
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Reason 5: Nutrient Deficiencies
Water and nutrients are the basic requirements of every pine plant. However, the requirement varies individually based on the plant species and the nutrients in the particular type of soil. So, several nutrient deficiencies can lead to the yellowing of leaves, and the most common among them is nitrogen deficiency.
Apply fertilizer based on the soil test recommendations after fulfilling the soil requirements.
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Reason 6: Improper Planting
Improper planting sites or techniques can also lead to the yellowing of a pine leaf. For example, planting the tree too deeply into the soil or not offering it sufficient water until the establishment of roots will let the recently transplanted tree become yellow. Exposure to severe drought damage or lack of irrigation may also begin the yellowing and wilt.
Make sure you plant the pine tree at a site suitable for its growth. Replant the plant keeping the root collar at the ground level. Don’t plant the tree in the wet soil because the roots fail to soak oxygen, making the leaves yellow.
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Reason 7: Pine Wilt Disease
Caused by pine wood nematode, the Pine Wilt Disease can result in the needles becoming off-green and yellowish. Even after the needles die, they hold on to the plant for a long time. This disease can be found more in Scotch Pines.
There is no remedy for this disease apart from removing and disposing of a wilt-infected pine tree so that other surrounding healthy trees do not get affected.
As beautiful as the pine tree looks, taking care of it is difficult and time-consuming. The uses of pine trees are diverse. They act as windbreakers, prevent soil erosion, and contain medicinal properties. So go ahead and buy the pine plant of your choice today!