Browning needles on JWP

AKNicolle

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Any ideas as to what could be causing browning on the ends of the needles of my Japanese White Pine? The tree spent the winter in my garage and seemed fine when I brought it outside in mid-May. The tree seems healthy, other than these browning needles. I'm located in Illinois, and we've had a lot of rain over the past 3 months, so I was wondering if that could be a possible cause?
 

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to much water will turn the needles brown and will kill the tree... would suggest severly limiting it's watering, also I would either remove or cut the "brown needle"s down to about an inch. The tree will eventually drop them off, but it will allow you to be able to tell the tree's progress. More brown needles...yikes, more green needles...yea!
 

crhabq

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AKNicolle,

I'm certainly no expert on pines, but from the pic posted I'd say that the original soil at the base of the trunk may be retaining too much water and leading to some root rot. But to be sure I'd closely examine the needle and the base of the needles to rule out insect damage. This link, original posted by bonhe, may help with the diagnose.
http://bonsainut.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=7278&d=1246209210

If you decide it is the trunk base soil being to water retentive, cover the pot with plastic wrap to keep the rain from continually soaking the soil. And oh, by the way, if the rain is causing you problems, please send it my way. I may even help cover shipping cost.

Ray
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Hasn't it been like 6000 degrees up there lately? Over 100 is very bad for white pines. the soil looks different around the roots than the rest of the pot and the needles look burned. Move it to some shade and prop the pot up a little on one side so the roots get a chance to dry some between waterings. I'd steer away from covering the pot in plastic (sorry Ray!)...it can cause all kinds of anaerobic problems and prevent evaporation. Unfortunately, it doesn't look good for this one...
 

AKNicolle

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Thanks for the tips! I noticed some brown needles falling off the tree today, but I also saw there was some new growth coming, so it looks like the little chap might still have a fighting chance. It hasn't quite been 6000 degrees, thankfully! Mostly around the low 90s with high humidity. We've also just come off the wettest July on record, so that hasn't helped. One of my Junipers hasn't been liking this combination much either.

Tomorrow I'll shift the tree to a shadier position (currently in full sun) and try to prevent it from getting too much rain, moving inside the garage overnight if needed. The soil mix doesn't dry out as quickly as my other pines, so I'll definitely be considering repotting sometime in autumn. I'm assuming now would be a bad time to repot? ;)
 
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I would not repot a unhealthy tree... unless a very last resort. I would for right now just limp through it, you know that the soil probally retains to much moisture, which isn't a problem as long as you adjust you watering regiment... Just try and get it healthy for now.
 

fore

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AKNicolle, I hope you followed Brian's suggestion as again, it's raining today! i sure hope it makes it thru this! It's a nice looking bonsai.
 

tanlu

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I have 6 JWP all at different stages, and I've learned a lot about their growing requirements. I think the browning is a sign of stress caused by a combination of over watering (causing root rot), high temperatures, and high humidity. I would also recommend keeping it in the shade for now and only water when necessary. You can tell by using your finger to dig 1 inch in the soil. If it's dry, water. As long as the needles at the branch tips (this year's growth) remain green your tree will be fine.

If this one doesn't make it I know a great source for low priced, non-grafted JWP: http://www.adamsbonsai.com/index.html
 
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AKNicolle

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A quick update on the tree... I trimmed the brown needles and moved it to a shadier place. There's some new growth popping out of the ends of one or two branches, but no change on the others. Thankfully the rain has eased up somewhat and the tree can dry out a little. The 2-3 year old JBP nearby has no trouble at all and is growing like mad. I chalk that up to the gravel-like soil it's in. If the other tree survives winter, I'm planning to repot in the same medium next Spring. Fingers crossed, and thanks for the advice!
 

Smoke

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Needle cast.....


.....fungus.
 

TheSteve

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I can't see for sure but it looks like it's all on old needles how long have you had it?
 

AKNicolle

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I've had the tree since this time last year. New needles have sprouted over the past few weeks.
 

TheSteve

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The reason I ask is, if the tree had been stripped of new growth for a couple of years to try to induce back budding then those old needles just might be dying of old age.
 

mc4mc44

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ive sobered up somewhat... sorry about before, although that diagram has helped me out before. its very straightforward and to the point, if your new to pines its nice to have saved to look at every now and then.

i cant be sure but it looks to me like the needles dying back in your images are last years needles. every year the previous year or two's needles will brown and fall off on Japanese white pines. are this years needles also browning and dieing back? if not then your tree is fine. if this years needles are browning then be prepared to take action.

you said your trees have been in the rain and humidity recently? if this years needles are browning the first thing that comes to mind is needle cast. im dealing with this on some of my larches right now. this can usually be taken care of with one or two applications of daconil.

posting the image again...
 

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tanlu

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I actually posted a similar post about one of my JWP having needle discoloration, only mine is actually black at the tips. I sprayed it an Ortho fungicide and the browning/discoloration stopped spreading. Look closely at next year's buds at the terminals and the base of the needles, are they green?

I know a great authority on JWP, Julian Adams who's the only individual in the country who specializes in Zuisho JWP air layers and Ishizuchi JWP seedling, and sells them at a great price...fyi. He's based in VA which is also very humid for most of the year. I discussed the issue with him and he said that as long as next year's buds at the terminals are healthy you have nothing to worry about. Also if the BASE of the needles are still green the tree will be fine. The tree is investing all it's energy into next year's buds so even if this year's foliage looks unhealthy, it's not nearly as serious as having unhealthy buds, or God forbid, no buds at all!!

Despite what many bonsaiists say about JWP being finicky, Julian and myself both agree that they're tough plants.
 

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