Pine needles ruining the soil for my Meyer?

serge94501April 29, 2014

I have a Meyer that is 1.5 years in the ground and just sad. It's on the property line and on the other side are 5 ugly pine trees planted to antagonize the old owner of my house. I don't have too many needles on my side, but on the other side of the fence (prob 5 feet from my tree) are a blanket of needles that never get cleaned up.

Could this be making some PH mess that is stunting the tree's growth?

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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

If your tree is on the south side of these pines, I would say no to the question. You could add lime pellets to help neutralize the acid. Any picture and a compus reading of north.

Steve

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:07PM
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tracydr(9b)

My citrus are all under pines and thriving. I would look elsewhere. Maybe get a soil test and have a tree expert take a look? I saved a pecan tree once with a free visit from the tree doctor.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:19PM
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BarbJP CA 15-16/9B

It's probably not the needles, they only affect the pH in the few inches directly under them. And since CA soil and water, for the most part, is slightly more alkaline, it really never gets that acidic anyway.

If the trees are getting enough sun, and shade from the trees isn't the issue, I'd say it was more competition from the pine tree roots. Pine trees are very greedy and will suck the water and nutrients from the soil pretty far from their trunks. They may be doing that to your tree, especially as it's only 1.5 years planted. Young plants have a really tough time competing with big trees.

What is your watering and fertilizing schedule like? You may need to up both to compete with the pines. Meyers need a lot of food anyway, and I'm betting it will need more water in this situation as well.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:43AM
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angela1234(6 SW PA)

How close to the pine trees to your citrus? I learned in a biology class that some pine trees have a weird way of killing things directly around them but it is usually just a small radius around the tree.

Maybe take a picture of your tree so that people can help you better?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 3:37PM
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serge94501

Okeydokey, here is my poor little Meyer and the pine trees.

Trunk-to-trunk might be 7-8 feet?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 3:52AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

That is a beautiful tree in the perfect place. You can dig a narrow trench 3 FT deep 10 feet either side of the tree and cut the roots. You can put down low levels of biodegradable root poison to kill the pine tree roots on your side of the fence. Keep away from the citrus tree. Razed bed 2 ft tall 10 FT by 10 FT. Check Ph Concrete leaches lime into the soil .

Steve

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:01AM
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cebury(9)

I'd agree also, it's not the needles. The trench idea has worked great for me (better than root blocker panels) but he doesn't have 3ft between his little tree and the fence line. I'd say it's also good spot except it's too close to the fence unless it's on Trifoliate and then it's borderline.

Basic soil checks aren't hard, at least do pH.

Some citrus trees spring to life when planted from pot, I've had to wait 2 years before on a couple of mine though. If you decide to wait-it-out and have the patience to year 3 and still nothing, definitely rip it out and go raised bed. But know that eventually the neighbor roots get into the raised bed as well. It just gives your tree a head start.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 7:20PM
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