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The Troubles with White Pine Trees in Bloomington, IN

Let’s talk about white pine trees, especially for those of you in Bloomington, Indiana. They’re pretty neat, especially when they grow up nice and tall. And you know what’s great? Unlike some other prickly trees out there, white pines won’t stab you with their needles. However, It seems like a lot of them start to have problems when they reach about 15 to 20 feet tall. We’ve been calling this issue “white pine decline,” but it’s a bit tricky to explain. There are a bunch of things that can affect how healthy a plant is, especially white pines. Usually, when a white pine starts to decline, it’s because its roots are stressed out.

Stress To The Roots

Root stress can happen for a few reasons, like if the soil has too much of certain chemicals, is too heavy and compacted, or if it’s too wet. When the roots are stressed, the tree can’t get enough water or nutrients, so it starts to look sad. The needles turn yellow, then brown, and fall off early. You might also notice that the bark on the branches starts to look dry and wrinkly.

Depending on how bad the root problems are, it can take a few years for a tree to get really sick, or it might happen pretty quickly. I’ve been seeing a lot of yellowing white pines around West Lafayette, Indianapolis, and here in Bloomington lately, and I think the weird weather we’ve been having isn’t helping. Going back and forth between long dry spells and big, heavy rains is really stressful for trees, and it can take them a long time to recover if they can at all.

When Is It Too Late?

Once a white pine starts showing these symptoms, there’s not much we can do to make it better. But! We can try to make things easier for the healthy white pines out there. Sometimes, one white pine will start to get sick while others nearby are totally fine. It’s important to take out the sick ones, though, because they can attract bugs that spread to the healthy trees.

Oh, and here’s a tip: not every tree in the same spot will react the same way. Some might have had a tough start when they were planted, or maybe they’re dealing with something called Phytophthora root rot. Just because one white pine gets sick doesn’t mean they all will. Keep an eye on the others, and if you can, make the area around them nicer for them to grow.

So, if you spot a white pine that’s looking under the weather here in Bloomington, Indiana, it might be time to give it a little extra care or get some advice from the experts here at Wells Lawn Care & Landscaping!



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