Salt Spray?

jim_(z7 NY)November 12, 2012

Hi guys, I have a few Eastern White Pines in my yard that since Hurricane Sandy (or whatever it was) went through, have significant browning of needles on branches that were facing into the wind that was 55 to 65 mph for a good 8 - 10 hours. Does this look like wind burn or maybe salt spray damage? We're pretty close to the bay and a few miles from the Atlantic - which was extremely rough that day. The windows on the house have a coating that looks like road salt on a windshield in winter so I'm thinking it's salt. If so, will they bounce back? They look pretty sick at the moment. Also, this is not the usual Autumn needle drop. That occurred a few weeks ago. Thanks for any insight

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wisconsitom

Jim, I think you've nailed it-salt spray. White pines def. don't like that. Not really sure if there's any remedial action.

+oM

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:48PM
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pineresin

Yep, salt spray damage. It'll recover with the new foliage in spring.

Resin

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:00PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the future is in the buds.. which are needle-less right now..

how do those look ????

IMHO ... wind burn could not possibly happen that fast ... but of course.. never say never ...

was that your only conifer damage???

ken

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:34PM
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jim_(z7 NY)

As far as I can tell, the buds look ok. Hope to see new growth in spring. As for other damage, some of my spruces were really swinging but luckily, they didn't snap or uproot. That being said, there's plenty of damage in the area. Many nice specimens uprooted or leaning badly. It appears that only the white pines were affected by the salt.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:25AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

anyone else note the bleeding sap on the trunk ... not that it is related to the storm ...

could other things be going on with this tree??

perhaps it was already stressed ...

the other thought i had.. was this thing probably grew up with the surrounding trees.. and was able to cope .. over the years with what MIGHT BE less than full sun [hard to tell on this pic]..

early loss of a majority of the needles.. needles which should have hung around at least another year or two to feed the tree .. might substantially impact the vigor with which this can recover..

or it might not.. lol.. who knows ...

hard to tell on this pic etc ... just speculating wildly

ken

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:38AM
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jim_(z7 NY)

Ken,

the sap is from when the lower limbs were taken off. It's a bit tight in that location so I had no choice. Is there a better method of limbing-up so that there's not as much bleeding? The cherry in the right foreground is being taken down so there will be a lot more sunlight in the near future (photo is facing north)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:13AM
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Jon 6a SE MA

When there has been salt spray along the coast from hurricanes here 'everything' turns brown. This appears to be specific to this tree (?), which would seem to indicate something else going on as others have noted.

Huge acreages along the MA coast have looked like brown dead zones. Much to my surprise, the foliage rebounded as Resin said. In the case of earlier season hurricanes new foliage sprouted almost immediately. If the condition is not widespread, I don't believe it is from salt spray.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 12:37PM
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jim_(z7 NY)

jonnyb,

there are five white pine in the yard and all developed the browning at the same time and facing in the same direction - into the wind. As to why the others didn't (swiss stone pine, colorado serbian and norway spruce, balsam white and douglas fir, yew, arbovitae), I'm not sure but my guess is White Pine is particularly susceptible. That's what the evidence suggests anyway...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:27PM
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pineresin

"but my guess is White Pine is particularly susceptible"

Yes, it is. Other conifers will turn brown as well if the salt deposition is very heavy, but not so readily. Species which occur naturally in coastal locations (e.g. Monterey Pine, Japanese Black Pine) tend to show greater tolerance.

Resin

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 2:24PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

sap from pruning .. is normal to pruning ...

sap at unpruned branches.. can be indicative of borers.. or other bugs ...

as i said.. from the distance of the pic.. i suspect nothing other than i saw it ...

ken

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 3:16PM
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jim_(z7 NY)

another picture from the area - closer to the water obviously. These White Pine look like they are toast yet the spruces look fine

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 1:22PM
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floramakros(Earth CA 9)

Will the new needles only appear at the budding tips and the rest of the branch will remain bare or will new needles emerge where the old ones fell off?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 4:11PM
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pineresin

"Will the new needles only appear at the budding tips and the rest of the branch will remain bare ... ?"

Yes; buds at the tips, and the shoots bare when the salt-damaged needles fall. So it'll look a bit thin for a year or so (Pinus strobus needles don't last very long even when OK).

Resin

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 7:21PM
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floramakros(Earth CA 9)

Thanks Resin. Which needles last the longest in your experience?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:20AM
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gwen57(CT)

I have the same problem with my white pine on the Ct shore. The needles have yellowed. It seems to be only on the top where it was exposed to the wind from Sandy. The bottom branches are still green. This tree was planted in the early 1900's. Very worried about it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 1:53PM
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gwen57(CT)

I have the same problem with my white pine on the Ct shore. The needles have yellowed. It seems to be only on the top where it was exposed to the wind from Sandy. The bottom branches are still green. This tree was planted in the early 1900's. Very worried about it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 2:09PM
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wisconsitom

Well Gwen, if the tree has indeed been there since the early 1900s, it's seen many such events and has been able to go on living. Most likely, you'll see it looking rather thin in the foliage department for a few years, with all the living needles being the new ones it will form next spring. But again, it should be able to recover.

+oM

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 4:57PM
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pineresin

"Most likely, you'll see it looking rather thin in the foliage department for a few years"

Not even that long - Pinus strobus needles only live 18-20 months normally, so in one year, at most two, it'll be back to full density.

Resin

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:03AM
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kag52

I live on the north shore of Long Island and most of the previously healthy white pines here have turned brown on their south side after hurricane Sandy. I initially suspected salt spray, but I'm 10 miles north of the ocean. Can salt spray reach that far? One of the guys at a local nursery said it could be due to root shear, the fine roots torn by the wind buffeting. Anyone have any thoughts about this?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 9:55AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would bet on salt.. as causing an immediate reaction.

rather than root damage.. which might show up much later..

i just dont see how root damage.. could cause impact on the needles.. inside of a month or two.. especially since they are relatively dormant.. it being winter and all ...

but .. really now.. who knows ...

i hope your guy didnt try to sell you fert.. to regrow the roots ????

ken

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 10:17AM
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wisconsitom

Agree with Ken-almost has got to be from salt spray.

+oM

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:25PM
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pineresin

"I initially suspected salt spray, but I'm 10 miles north of the ocean. Can salt spray reach that far?"

Yes. Significant (damaging) salt spray can blow up to 50 miles inland in a hurricane.

Resin

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 4:20PM
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kag52

I'm guessing that the salt-spray damage was exasperated by the paltry (by hurricane standards) 3/4" of precipitation my rain gauge registered as those winds blew for hours on end. Last year's storm, Irene, dropped 8" and of course the winds didn't compare.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:52AM
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