White pine needles turning blue??

catherinet(5 IN)May 29, 2011

I bought 3 of these white pine trees (about 2-3' tall, 3-4 years old) a couple weeks ago. We haven't been able to plant them yet. They are in something like 3-4 gallon pots.

They've been getting some sun and shade and I haven't watered them recently, because we've gotten alot of rain.

The other day I noticed one of them has needles that are getting light blue in color. Now all 3 of them are getting this color. The branches aren't drooping.

What might this mean? If there's something wrong with them, I'll take them back and not waste my time planting them. Hopefully you can see the picture well enough.


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salicaceae(z8b FL)

Normal, happy white pine. The blue color comes from wax on the needles' surfaces. Some seedlings have more than others. Most people find them to be more attractive than the yellowish-green ones.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:23PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Cool! I was so afraid it meant something bad!
That's great news. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:25PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Is the one at the pic a "normal" seedling of Pinus strobus or is it a grafted cultivar?
What name was mentioned on the tag?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 1:55AM
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Could it be Strobiformis rather than Strobus?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 6:32AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I checked the label today and it said Strobus. Eastern White Pine. What happens if it is the Strobiformis? I've planted alot of small pines and I've never seen them this blue.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 1:45PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

There is no reason to believe it is strobiformis. White pines with silvery needles occur all the time.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 3:09PM
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The reason for the colour change just now, is the new needle fascicles opening. When they first emerge, the 5 needles in each fascicle are tight together, only showing their green outer faces. Then when they're nearing full length, they start to spread apart, showing their blue-white inner faces as well.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 4:55PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks everyone.
One thing that concerned me was that new needles pulled out very easily. I went out to the field where I had planted other younger white pines 1-2 years ago, and to my surprise, all their new needles pulled out very easily.......as did the new growth on the much older pines! So I guess I won't use that as a sign that a tree isn't doing well!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 7:34PM
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