My husband and I planted a Vanderwolf pine in September 2010. The pine has turned completely yellow on top. Will the tree come back if the bottom is still green aside from a little yellowing? We have tried root stimulator and it is still yellowing. We live in Flagstaff AZ. Will our tree survive?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Jennifer: It is perfectly normal for all pines to shed some of their inner foliage in order to make room for new growth. However, from what you have described it sounds like something else is going on with your evergreen. If the end of the tips are yellow then it is most likely a moisture/stress issue. It is difficult to say how far gone your evergreen is without being able to see it. Once evergreens turn yellow/brown, there is nothing we can do to help save them. This is still considered a new planting and there is always a certain amount of stress involved when transplanting. At this point you will want to check the moisture level around the root ball. You can do this by sticking your finger in the soil at least a couple of inches. If it is soggy then you will want to dig up the plant and re-work the soil by adding a few inches of compost to help elevate the planting site and improve the drainage. Another option would be to dig it up and move it to another location. Be certain that your pine is receiving a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. If the soil is bone-dry then you will want to give it a good soaking and be mindful about keeping the soil consistently moist. The plant is already stressed, so you want to avoid adding root stimulator as well as fertilizer. You can always take a sample of your pine to your County Cooperative Extension Service or check with the nursery/garden center where you purchased it to see if they have a certified arborist on staff that could come out and take a look at your pine. You can also inquire about their guarantee policy. You can visit the Coconino County Extension Service Web site at http://extension.arizona.edu/coconino.