My pine needles are turning brown. What could be causing this?
Browning pine needles can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
• Root damage or death as a result of exceptionally wet springs and hot, dry summers. Improving soil drainage where the pines are planted can help, along with watering in the late fall (especially if the pines are young).
• Desiccation from dry winter winds pulling moisture out of the needles. An application of antidesiccant spray in the fall can form a protective barrier against these winds and help to hold moisture in.
• Fungal diseases such as tip blight, which can be treated with fungicides.
• Bark beetle infestation (if this is the case, pitch may also be flowing from the trunk, and holes might be visible in the trunk as well). Removal and disposal of infested trees may be necessary.
Of course, a professional inspection of your pines is the best way to determine what might be causing the needles to turn brown. Once a diagnosis is made, the proper steps can be taken toward recovery.