topdressing soil for tsuga canadensis 'jeddeloh'

philosopher(Zone 5a WI)June 19, 2011

hi--i have this beauty. it's about 2-3 feet across. we've had a long winter (lots of snow), and i just noticed needles browning at some of the tips of the branches. i am wondering whether our soil is too sweet or whether i should topdress with a soil acidifier. the browning could simply be due to winter burn or snowpack issues, but i guess the soil pH issue may need to be addressed either way.

i haven't ever gotten the soil tested (i know, i know), but our soil in wisconsin is full of lime. i have added lots of organic matter to the soil, but even so i wonder whether this little guy could handle some soil acidification. i remember reading that hemlocks like slightly acidic soil.

do you think the browning could be related to soil pH? if topdressing is recommended, what should i use/how much? any help/suggestions appreciated. thank you! kathy

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

absolutely not ...

and if you give me a nickle.. i will tell you what i really think ...

how long has it been there???

isnt it a mini .... if its been there for a decade ... why would soil be a problem now ... and if it has not been there.. you kinda forgot to tell us that in the facts ...

winter burn .. or check out the link .. sun scorch or heatwave scorch ...

is it this years new needles... which would have no winter impact.. since they werent there.. or last years.. or interior ...

ONLY a picture will change my mind...

and get a soil test.. i know.. i know... or at lest call your county extension office ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 7:24PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

My soil pH is in the low 7s and I grow Tsuga. This year my guess is it could have been the shock from near 100F we had earlier. Too hot, too fast after a long cool spring.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 5:03PM
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What TJ said. BTW, soil in this state is highly variable from one section of the state to another, ranging from circumneutral where you (And I) live, to very acidic sands in some areas, and everything inbetween.

Also FWIW, the #1 tell-tale sign of a too-alkaline soil is a symptom known as 'chlorosis', a yellowish tone to foliage that should be green. Browning tips are something else entirely and most likely from those two freakish hot days a while back.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 5:42PM
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philosopher(Zone 5a WI)

thank you all. yes, the browning is on the tips/new growth.

glad to know that i don't have to amend/topdress regularly.

and, yes, i will get that darn soil tested. been meaning to do so for a while.

thanks again--kathy

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 2:37AM
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