White pines, that should be green, but are brown....

White pines that should be green but are brown....

Pinus strobus, Eastern White Pine, that, under normal circumstances green, now look sandy brown.

I had a customer ringing me earlier today expressing his concern that his white does not look well at all. He is right and this brown discoloration is developing in the aftermath of Sandy. The heavy wind carried seawater in fine particles and dumped it on all the trees. White pine is not very tolerant to salt and it shows.

The pine photograph has been taken earlier today in Davonport. Only those parts of the canopy that were fully sheltered from the wind show green needles. The big question is whether the salt-laden white pines are going to survive.

Honestly, your guess will be as good as mine.

Is there any option for remediation?

Since we had a brief flood with saltwater, the salt is crystallizing in the very surface of the soil and the only thing one can do is generously water the tree, thus diluting the salt. Then, hopefully, the roots will survive. As for the foliage? They burned and one can only hope that growth tips have not been affected. It will be a matter of wait and see till next spring.

A good snowfall during the winter will also help recondition the soil and then, in early spring, it will be time to have soil samples taken and analyzed for the status of the living soil organisms, collectively known as the "soilfoodweb." Re-invogorating the soil with living micro organisms will be the key to get plants growing again.

More about that in a future Tree Ap blog..

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