What pine (??) is this? Needles dropping.

mainer_at_heartJanuary 31, 2012

We moved into a new house two months ago, and it has a pine in front of the house that looks as though it is some kind of weeping pine. I'm really not sure what it is, and I'm having a hard time finding it online. In the past few weeks, we've noticed that it is dropping (a lot!) of green needles. Why could it be happening, and is there anything we can do to save it? (I think dropping green needles are usually a sign the tree is dying ... ?)

Any help would be much appreciated. I've attached a picture of the pine in front of our house -- not sure it's clear enough to see:

[IMG]http://i1089.photobucket.com/albums/i351/maggie171921/Garden/House1.jpg[/IMG]

Here is a link that might be useful:

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mainer_at_heart

Note ... the pine is to the left in the picture on the link.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 6:57PM
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smivies

Looks like a Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula')....so not a pine.

Can't comment on the needle drop...it may be winter stress. Not much you can do on a tree that size...just wait and see what happens in spring. Even if it loses all of it's needles, it will probably put out a perfectly healthy new flush of needles in April/May.
Roughly, where in NJ are you, what is your winter's low temperature (so far), and do you know what hardiness zone you're in?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 7:16PM
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mainer_at_heart

We're in Central Jersey -- it's been an unusually, extremely mild winter (today was in the 50s, when the usual temperature would be in the 30s this time of year), with only one snow a few weeks ago. From what I can find, we're in zone "6b", which lists -5 to 0 degrees. I was just so concerned to see the needles drop green ...

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 7:35PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

This happens here also, I can guess why but have not learned what is thought by others to be the problem. Issues at the root seem likely, but I don't know.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:50PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

need a closeup

ken

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:01PM
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mainer_at_heart

Here are some more pics of the tree today. These needles have just started dropping off in the past month -- and now it looks as though 75-80% of them are gone. The needles on the ground are primarily green, but now I see some brown needles on the tree. Is the cedar dead? Dying? Seasonal browning? Any help much appreciated. See link below for pics.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cedar

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 7:52PM
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pineresin

Probably dead, but keep it until June to see if the buds leaf out or not.

Resin

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 4:37AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Looks like a goner but as Resin said: "keep it until June to see if the buds leaf out or not."

Why did you wait so long to act on this issue? I suppose moving into a new home with all the hassles that go along with that... I can see why it got over looked.

If you have a county extension agent give them a call. They will come out and diagnose your problem.

By the way that is a nice attractive garden for balance and color. Get to know your plantings so you can be on top of any issues that may come your way.

The Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula' you can replace. Fairly common cultivar available at your local nursery. That one looks to be 15-20 years old. You can probably get a nice replacement in the 3-gal.container size.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 6:20AM
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mainer_at_heart

It looks pretty sad -- what a bummer. Yes, we moved in the middle of the holidays with a toddler, and so you can imagine that the yard was not on our list of priorities when we moved. The tree was fine less than a month ago, not missing a needle. The needles dropped slowly at first and (as you can see above), I had no idea what the tree was let alone whether dropping needles was normal. Once they all started to go at once (I'd say the majority have shed this past week), I knew we had a problem ...

I'm pleased with the garden, and the front yard is just the beginning ... but I've only ever lived in rentals and gardening is not currently one of my skills. Fortunately my father-in-law is a master gardener ... too bad he didn't notice the tree until this week, either!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:25AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

The tree was fine less than a month ago

===>>> no it wasnt .... it could have been dead for months.. but being evergreen.. it didnt brown until winter weather dried the dead needles ...

i presume you have no clue how it was planted.. when it was planted.. nor if it was a recent planting.. whether it was properly watered all summer and fall ...

thank goodness you dont need to blame yourself about it all ... presume the prior owner killed it ...

get it out .. and come back here is you want some suggestions about a better replacement ...

that plant was not z5 appropriate for me .. and if you are in z6.. a good chill/freeze ... could have done it in.. who knows ... who cares..

its the prime focus of your house... if it were outback on my 5 acres.. i would leave it as an experiment.. to see if it rebuds ... but not in the prime location of the front of your house.. EVEN if it does recover.. it might be 5 years before it climbs its way back to be a beauty ...

i would give it until mid may or so.. and if less than 90% of it shows active buds.. i would be done with it ...

good luck with your new house and the poop machine... i am so glad i am past that part ... lol

ken [stay at home dad]

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 12:24PM
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mainer_at_heart

Ha! You're right, Ken, it obviously was not fine, just edging toward complete destruction. I have no clue on the tree's history. It is better to feel that the previous owners killed it ... I hope that there wasn't something I could have done in the past 2 months to make a difference. We did have a freak flash of cold weather at Halloween that dumped ice and snow in our area and took out many trees (including the maple in our front yard ... maybe I'll post about that one in the trees forum), so that could have been the culprit. Who knows?

We'll see if it makes any progress. It is a pretty rough tree to have as the focal piece of our yard (that and our demolished maple), so we might swap it out for something else sooner than later. I'll be back with questions! Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 4:03PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you said: It is better to feel that the previous owners killed it ...

EGGS -ACT-LY

you said: that dumped ice and snow in our area and took out many trees (including the maple in our front yard ... maybe I'll post about that one in the trees forum), so that could have been the culprit. Who knows?

YOU'RE KILLING WITH ADDING FACTS NOW ... lol ...

who cares why the maple died.. you are better off w/o it ...

but.. and there is always a big butt around .... your conifer might simply have some level of sunburn.. which can also damage leaves and winter then makes them fall off ...

regardless.. the life of that conifer is all in the buds ... they may not have been damaged as much as the leaves/needles... and if it is only sunburn.. on the rest.. the buds may burst forth with vigor ...

give it until late spring.. and lets see what happens..

but do price out a shovel and a good saw in the meantime.. lol ...

it is the focal point of your new house.. not a place to 'see how it all works out' .. over the next 5 years ...
ken

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 4:55PM
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mainer_at_heart

Yes, I'd forgotten about the big storm -- there's no doubt that it killed the maple, as it sheared off the top of it with the weight of the snow-covered leaves (my bigger question is whether that will bounce back, it lost its leader). Not sure if it could have impacted the cedar, we hadn't even closed on the house at that time ...

We'll see what happens in the spring. I'll be curious to see!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 9:36AM
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mainer_at_heart

Just a follow-up to my original post, since maybe somebody (maybe??) was wondering what ever happened to this tree. We waited until our garden and all of our trees had bloomed, but there were no signs of life on this cedar. We finally took it out today, and found the culprit ...

Apparently, when the original owner of the house or landscaper put the tree in, there was a burlap sack tied around the root bulb with a piece of twine. The twine was never cut, and never gave, so over time (10-12 years), it cut into the trunk of the tree underground as the tree grew and basically strangled it. It's sad to see, and we're sad to lose the tree. Now we have to find something to replace it!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 8:36PM
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