Why are my evergreens dying

Hi,
I live in a rural hilly zone 4 area. We have mostly oak and maple on and around the property with a sprinkling of other trees. The few coniferous trees we get have a high die off rate and I don't know why. Most recently a 7' pine turned brown from the top down. Now a neighboring pine is doing the same. A few pins per branch are brown, but the top is completely brown. The stem and bark seem fine. We had a rough winter last year and I understand the trees had been stressed by lack of rain in the fall. This however has happened since spring and we've had plenty of rain. I haven't noticed any particular bug infestation and the deciduous trees are just fine.
Any ideas what may be going on?
Thanks in advance,
Rick
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Rick,
Sorry to hear about your troubles. I am not very knowledgeable on this, so I won't venture a guess. However, I can tell you that you would find accurate info. by tracking down a local/state agricultural extension. You should be able to send samples of your soil and evergreen to the extension, and have them give you an exact reason to your troubles. They would also likely know if there is a disease prevalent in your neck of the woods.
Maybe someone out there in zone 4 knows the closes agric. extension???
Good luck.
Heidi
Chrome!Hat wrote:

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A little more information. What size are the trees? How long have they been where they are? What types are they (one is a pine, what kind of pine).
Has this spring been wetter than normal. My guess is too much moisture. Also keep in mind that many such trees do drop needles every year, usually spring to early summer.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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Do you ever water them?
Toad
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"Chrome!Hat" wrote:

Conifers, pines in particular, can get stressed by periods of drought followed by periods of lots of rain. A couple of years ago we had a very wet winter and spring that followed several seasons of extended summer droughts. Pines failed by the dozens, including many that were very well established. The effects of drought/excessive water are not necessarily immediate - sometimes it may take several months or even a season or two before you notice the trees starting to fail. To be sure and to discover if there is any remedial action you could take, you might want to consult a qualified arborist for advice.
pam - gardengal
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