Pine Tree Problem

My father has a couple of old (Japanese?) pine trees, each about 8 feet tall in which the needles are browning. He says that he only waters the trees and has never used any fertilizer.
Is there any fertilizer/additive that can help with these trees?
TIA
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Don't need to fertilize pine trees. They can be mulched but the mulch should not touch the bark. There are acres of dead pine trees in the hills of TN due to pine beetle destruction.
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Phisherman wrote:

I have heard of the beetle problems as the forests here in Southern California have been infected due to the droughts. As I understand it, however, it's due to the lack of water that the trees have weakened and could not naturally fight off the beetles. My father does water the trees so I'm thinking this is not the problem.
So if fertilizers are not required, a thought came to my mind. If I remember the way the soil is around the base, it may be a bit compacted. Could compacted soil prevent the roots from getting enough water? BTW, he doesn't mulch.
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I've no idea what a Japanese pine is but I have one Chinese black Pine. Around here they mulch themselves as do the white pine.. However I rob it and add the needles to my foot paths. If you are have a general malaise with the whole tree involved I'm clues less. I've have many white pine with some sort of borer that kills the new top growth but the tree's seem to be able to carry on sometimes sending up a new leader.
Now you got me looking about for a Japanese pine.
Bill lover of things unfamiliar.
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This usually happens to white pines grown out in the open. It is called the "white pine weevil". You can train one young branch to be the new leader. Maybe about what, 15 year old trees?
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The trees are about 30 years old and grow amongst black oaks.
Thanks!
Bill
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Adding 3-4" of compost around the tree, being careful not to allow the compost to touch the bark or trunk, will help retain moisture, conserve water, help neutralize the pH and encourage beneficial worms and microbes. Worms help aerate the soil and add castings. The compost/mulch will deteriorate over time and should be renewed. Small frequent waterings will encourage a shallow root system--a good monthly soaking should be enough for an established mulched tree. Most pine trees are draught tolerant, making them a good choice for dry climates such as southern CA. You may also want to have an arborist take a look at the trees to determine the reason for the browning needles. Has there ever been browning of the needles? Some pine trees go through season cycles.
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wrote:

Water is an issue in making decisions based on tree biology wityh respect to tree farming. So issues that need to be addressed for the health of trees is that water during dry times be addressed by use of symplastless tree trunks with soil cantact. This feature of the ecological stgaes of trees is often admired in old growtrh forest. Cook State Park Forest in PA was having a drought when pieces of soil wood in cubes about 1" square when picked up and squezzed, produced a steady stream of water (coninfers White Pine and Eastern Hemlocks). The water issue can be addressed in once fertile forest or tree farming by leaving more soil-wood. Some points: http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/SOUND/soundscience/water.html I put a twist on it: http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/SOUND/whatitis/water.html

As well as oxygen for respiration.
BTW, he

while consideration of the value of the larger gradations of wood (cellulose mostly) such as course woody debris would be wise.
Mulching suggestions: http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/M/mulch.html
Two good articles on soil, wood, chestry and trees: http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/RHIZO.html and http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/CHEM.html
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One thing that may help is that evergreens like the soil to be somewhat acidic. You can check this with a simple PH testor, or you can simply add something like Miracle Grow for Evergreens, which will sweeten up the soil.
Sherwin
bruceh wrote:

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sherwindu wrote:

Small correction to my last posting. Sweet soil usually conotates alkaline soil,
whereas sour soil is related to acidic. It's all semantics, but getting the soil to be more acidic than basic is the important thing.
Sherwin
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Billy wrote:

I'm impressed by your knowledge of the pH scale. If I hadn't pointed out this mistake, I doubt if you would have even noticed.
At least I try to correct my mistakes. You on the other hand are always looking for an opportunity to score points. How juvenile.
Sherwin
--------------5A620BD18DDF620FB9E55912 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en"> <html> &nbsp;
<p>> sherwindu wrote:<br>> <br>> > One thing that may help is that evergreens like the soil to besomewhat <br>> > acidic. <br>> > You <br>> > can check this with a simple PH testor, or you can simply add something <br>> > like <br>> > Miracle Grow for Evergreens, which will sweeten up the soil. <br>> ><br>> >&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sherwin <br>> <br>>&nbsp;&nbsp; Small correction to my last posting.&nbsp; Sweet soilusually conotates alkaline <br>>&nbsp;&nbsp; soil,<br>> <br>>&nbsp;&nbsp; whereas sour soil is related to acidic.&nbsp; It's allsemantics, but getting <br>>&nbsp;&nbsp; the soil <br>> to <br>>&nbsp;&nbsp; be more acidic than basic is the important thing.<br>> <br>>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sherwin <p>Acidic (below pH 7) is sour. Basic (above pH 7) is bitter. Sweet is <br>around pH 7. Damn, don't your raggedy, bigoted ass know nothin', Doo?<br>-- <p>Billy <br><a href="http://rachelcorriefoundation.org /"></a>&nbsp;</blockquote>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I'm impressed by your knowledge of the pH scale.&nbsp; If I hadn't pointed out this <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; mistake, I doubt if you would have even noticed. <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; At least I try to correct my mistakes.&nbsp;You on the other hand are always looking <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for an opportunity to score points.&nbsp;How juvenile. <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sherwin <br>&nbsp; <br>&nbsp; <br>&nbsp;</html>
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In article

My dad taught me to take a hand full of garden soil squeeze it and see how it broke up. This for early soil preparation if it had been wet. He also used to take the same soil and taste it. This for getting an idea if lime was needed. This was 50 years ago.
Bill
Here is a good read concerning soil.
<http://www.regional.org.au/au/asssi/supersoil2004/keynote/lineskelly.htm

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MaCain in 2038 !!
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Thanks Bill. This is an excellant essay. What realized, before I read the following passage, is the spiritual aspect of our relationship with the soil: "In some intuitively perceivable sense, the quest for a deeper understanding of the soils role in the natural environment and in the life of humanity, is more than an intellectual exercise or a merely utilitarian task. It might even be something of a spiritual pilgrimage, impelled by an ancient call, a yearning to return to a life of greater authenticity."
As I said to Billy, this essay occupied my thoughts for the better part of the day. Reflecting back over my life, from my earliest memories, the time I recall being most spiritually barren, were the times I was away from and uninvolved with the soil.
Also important is this passage:
"Soil is the connection to ourselves. From soil we come and to soil we return. If we are disconnected from it we are aliens adrift in a synthetic environment. It is the soil the helps us to understand the self-limitations of life, its cycles of death and rebirth, the interdependence of all species. To be at home with the soil is truly the only way to be at home with ourselves, and therefore the only way we can be at peace with the environment and all of the earth species that are part of it. It is, literally, the common ground on which we all stand. What has happened to our modern industrialised society is that we have gone through a divorce. We have become divorced from the soil. And I submit that until we heal that divorce and become lovers of the soil again, many of our social problems will go unsolved including our food safety and environmental protection problems. (Kirschenmann 1997)
This essay played in my minds eye as the complete unfolding of the human experience on this earth.
Thanks for the spiritual uplift and helping me along the way.
Your faithful student :-) Charlie
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I read ideas like this and think of the issue of food quality and how it effects scholastics and social interaction. Perhaps being grounded is a health concern on a larger scale. Of course our rural heritage has had it's share of violence too. Finding a balance is difficult today all I hope for is a gentle correction. Read that as slow, small and individual. Then there is that pesky notion of aging. Seems trivial things get more attention than 40 years ago when I was too busy living hard. The word domesticated comes to mind. Which is a challenge that requires spunk. So I say live hard and hope others do too. Your faithful student :-)
Bill
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bruceh wrote:

I finally got a chance to take some photos. I don't know if it would help with any opinions.
The first two photos were taken in Oct. 2007. The last four are from Apr, 2008.
http://bhatasub5.home.att.net/photoDadPineTree/index.htm
TIA
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Hard to tell, but, it looks to be typical drought response, particularly with the candling showing now. The base of the tree looks to be compacted urban soil, and possibly restricted by concrete. Could be the trees have reached the limit of the soil moisture capacity, and cut back on transpiration trying to stay alive.
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