Last spring in upstate New York I noticed that most of the pine trees seemed
be covered with brown needles, as if the trees were dying.
Now all the pine trees on mine and the surrounding properties are suffering
same affliction (Fairfield Connecticut).
Anybody know what's going on here?
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On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 18:35:53 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Another possibility is road salt. Are the dead trees near major roads
that get salted in the winter, especially on the north side of the
Pines are shallow rooted and hence take up groundwater near the
surface where pollutants are most concentrated.
Pine trees shed needles in the spring and fall (more in the fall than
in the spring, I've noticed). If only some of the needles are turning
brown and falling off, the trees may be going through their annual
shed cycle. If all of the needles are turning brown and the trees look
completely dead, then it's something different.
The white pines, jack pines and red pines growing on our property here
in Wisconsin are going through their shed cycle right now.
A few years ago, a row of pine trees planted next to a golf course on
a major highway in this area turned completely dry and brown from road
salt. The trees were about four feet tall at the time. I thought they
were dead. I figured there was no way they could recover. Today they
are growing and thriving and look as though nothing had happened to
Is the forest all of a single age? I have some land that was
pasture about 70 years ago, but then allowed to grow up in forest.
When I bought the land, I noticed that a *lot* of the pine
trees were sickly and fallen/falling. I called the local
ag extension guy out and he told me that this was natural
succession. Southern pine have a life span of 60-ish years,
and my forest was transitioning from pine to hardwood, which
were slowly taking over. Sure enough, he took me to a portion
of the place that had been in forest for greater than 90
years, and it was mostly hardwood with very few pines.
In many parts of the south, fires would have been set in the numerous summer
lightning storms, and the forest would have remained pine, because the
hardwoods are more susceptible to fire. (The pines will usually get scarred
but will regenerate). This has been supressed except in certain of the
natural forests, so much of the longleaf pine forest native to the coastal
lowlands of the entire south has transitioned to hardwoods - also pretty,
but not as useful for the wildlife native there. In the Appalachicola
national forest near Tallahassee, the forest service sets controlled fires
nearly every year in some area or another to maintain a pine forest.
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