Pine trees are among the most common and well-known type of evergreen tree in North America. But like all trees, even they are susceptible to disease and injury.
It’s not uncommon for a damaged pine tree to turn brown and die. Sometimes the cause is obvious, whereas other times it’s not so obvious. So, what causes a pine tree to turn brown and die?
One of the most common reasons why pine trees turn brown and die is lack of water. Normally, mother nature does a pretty good job as hydrating pine trees.
If you live in a region where there’s a drought, however, the pine trees in your yard or landscape may lack the necessary water to thrive, in which case their needles may turn brown.
Too Much Water
While drought is one cause of dead and browning pine trees, too much water is another possible cause. When the soil becomes saturated with moisture, it encourages the roots to rot and bacteria/mold to take hold.
In some instances, the pine tree may survive, assuming the soil dries up. In other cases, though, the pine tree will turn brown and die, without any hope for saving it.
Pine Needle Fungus
Another reason why pine trees turn and brown – and let’s hope this isn’t the reason – is pine needle fungus. There are several different types of fungi that attack pine needles, causing discoloration, loss of needles and even death.
Depending on the severity of the infection, you may be able to save your pine tree by applying a broad-spectrum fungicide.
Fungicide containing neem oil works particularly well against fungus, as it kills the foreign invaders without damaging the tree.
If you discover one or more pine trees in your yard turning brown and dying, you should closely inspect it, looking for signs of bark beetles. These otherwise tiny insects like to burrow into pine trees, laying their eggs deep inside the bark where they are safe from predators.
Some species of bark beetles even spend most of their life inside of a pine tree. And conventional wisdom should tell you that it’s not good for the tree to have these beetles burrowing their way in and out.
These are just a few of the most common reasons why pine trees turn brown and die. By going through these options, hopefully you can determine what’s affecting your tree.
The Woodsman Company offers tree planting, tree pruning and shrub trimming, tree removal and stump grinding as well as a tree wellness program.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or
Katherine Burgei says
The fir tree that has totally died, is situated right next to 2 or 3 full size, same type trees that are still very healthy. It appears that the tap root may have been damaged, but not sure how. Could the fertilizer company be responsible for the death? They only spray the lawn about 3 times yearly, but never had a problem for several years already. The grass and other plants around are very healthy. A fence was installed a year ago, had to remove some troublesome roots at this time, could this have affected the beautiful tree? Thanks for any assistance you can offer in this regard…