Pine Tree Health Care
If the needles on your pine are browning or falling off excessively, it may need nutrients via a fertilization or a good watering.
Natural needle loss cycles are typically two to three years. However, if the needle tips are splitting or folding back towards the host branch, that is a sign of drought.
More sudden needle drop may indicate needle scale. The best time to combat these is late winter/ early spring with dormant oil.
Dormant oil works with cultural practices. Application at the proper time is crucial. Apply too late and insects will be gone before the dormant oil can trap it. Although it will alter the eating habits of aphids and other crawling insects, our arborists recommend additional aphid control in summer.
A dormant oil treatment is diluted with water and applied as a spray. Typically dormant oil is mixed with water at about a 2% rate. Apply in late winter or early spring to prevent any needle burn or discoloration on nearby structure or plants.
If the tree turns red, it might have been hit by IPS or mountain pine beetle. The IPS has a ridge on it’s back while mountain pine has more of a rounded end. Pine striped scale can also strike and leave little white dots on the needles. And in September watch for moths, called pine zimmerman moth. Browning of the top may indicate a pine zimmerman hit.
Pine Tree Pruning
Pines can be shaped but more often we selectively remove dead wood to give the tree a stronger ability to thrive and use nutrients more efficiently. It will also look better and may shed snow more readily.
Pine Tree Removal
Pine tree removal is a straightforward process for most suburban homeowners because it just has the single lead (trunk). Removal maybe become necessary after a beetle attack. But it’s lack of water that kills many pine. Preventing a pine tree removal really starts with making sure you water it during the winter.
When we remove a pine, the first thing we do is to move away any objects and lawn furniture which maybe at the base of the tree. Then we “limb” the tree removing all the branches leaving just the trunk. Then the rest of the removal involves piecing out the trunk. The range for pine tree removal costs is between $300 and $1200 depending on the size, location, structure around the tree and the presence of powerlines.
In rural and mountainous areas, thinning is a necessary evil to promote the health of the stand, prevent fire and survive the beetle epidemic. Also, most homeowners in Colorado are required to remove trees hit by mountain pine beetle and dispose of them in a way that won’t effect other trees.