Is my Mountain Pine suffering from transplant shock?

ostrich(3a AB)August 21, 2012

Hi everyone,

My landscaper planted a Mountain Pine in my backyard a few weeks ago. It looked very dark green and healthy before, but now it is developing some yellow needles on the inside of the tree. The entire tree looks OK but somehow it just does not look as "happy" as before.

It was a 175cm tree. I am wondering if it's suffering from transplant shock? Or is the soil too moist there? It is quite moist there though it's not standing water. If it is suffering from overwatering because of the moist soil, what can I do about it please?

I do hope that it's OK! Thoughts, anyone please? Thank you in advance.

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Relax. As soon as you said "on the inside of the tree", that made it clear that you have nothing to worry about. Evergreens like pines keep their needles for several years, but eventually they drop their old needles just like deciduous trees drop their leaves each fall. You usually don't notice needle-drop on spruce because they hold onto needles for something like 5 years, so the needles that are going to be lost in late summer/fall are deep in the canopy and won't be noticed. But most pines hold onto their needles for only several years, plus their canopy is fairly open to begin with so what is going on inside the canopy is more visible, and every year from mid-August until mid-September, when the old pine needles are yellowing and dropping, people become worried about their pines. Relax, it's normal and to be expected, and it will happen every year around this time.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 2:52AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks, don! I really appreciate your feedback and information.

I went out and took a look again this morning. The yellow needles were mostly on the "inside" but there were a few near the end of some branches. But overall the tree did look OK.

So I will relax!!! :-)

BTW, do these Mountain Pines tolerate a more moist and even sometimes wet soil? I think that's what I have, but no standing water though. The nursery that I got it from said so, but then I have since got conflicting information on the internet....

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 5:06PM
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ostrich, as the name suggests, Mountain Pine is one species of pine best adapted to alpine conditions which are typically on the drier side. That being said, a mountain pine should tolerate fairly moist conditions so long as the ground isn't constantly saturated. The moisture may shorten the lifespan of the pine, but not to the extent that it's not worth planting. Just be careful in your supplemental watering!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:57AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

seriousgeorge, thank you for the reassurance and info! I am keeping everything crossed and hope that it will do fine over this winter! ;-)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 1:11AM
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If the fall is dry, don't forget to water it well about a week or so before frost enters the ground (in Edmonton that usually means water in late October). New transplants especially don't have a well-established root system so the tree can suffer moisture stress if the soil is dry, and you don't want that to happen going into winter, since the needles will continue to lose moisture over winter, especially in chinook zones, but true even in Edmonton during mid-winter thaws or extremely cold and windy days. If you water a week or even a few days before freeze-up, that gives the tree a chance to take up moisture and allows the soil time to drain excess moisture so the roots can still get air during winter.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 1:29AM
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