leonardochen
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Location: Medford, MA

Pine tree needs help

Hello

One of my pine trees is not doing very well. Big branches of it dried up for no apparent reason. From what I can tell, it's not spreading, so I don't think it's a disease.

All leaves on those branches became brown, dry and fell down. The only thing left are dry branches.

Any suggestions on how to bring it back to life?

Thanks
Leo

[img]https://www.blt-design.com/temp/IMG_8095.JPG[/img]

bullthistle
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Can't tell what it is exactly but it looks like a spruce or cedar. Shame that it happened. Don't know how to treat it, if treatable, but start pruning out the dead branches so it doesn't look so bad.

leonardochen
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Location: Medford, MA

Hello bull!
I'm not sure what happened to that tree. One question, should I prune the dead branches down to the main trunk?

bullthistle
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Yes, it could be some type of fungus or other disease. Check with county cooperative extension. It is so intermitent which puzzles me usually if it happens in one spot it could be winter kill. Check the main trunk and see if you see anything strange. You'll know when you see it near where the branches are dead.

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uniquegardenplants
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It does looked diseased from the spotiness of the dieback. I think Bullthistle is right that with closer inspection some fungus or insect infestation may be found. The spruce looks fairly old and may have been weakened with age, therefore allowing outside elements to attack.
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MaineDesigner
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Is the spruce as directly under the maple as it appears to be in the photo? My sense is that this is one of the dwarf Picea glauca cultivars like 'Conica' and that age, poor cultural conditions and probably mites have taken their toll. You can prune out the dead portions but that will just leave big holes. Based on what I can see here I would just have it removed but if you are attached to it please seek the advice of a good arborist for a local, on the ground opinion, rather than taking counsel from strangers on the internet looking at a single low resolution photo.

leonardochen
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Thanks for the replies. Yes, there is a good sized maple tree close to it. I've pruned the maple quite a bit during the past two winters, but I've been a bit cautious since it's not really mine. It's on the street, so it's town property.

The spruce is not that tall, maybe 7 or 8 feet high, and it was planted by the previous owner. I have no idea what it is.
By the way, there has been new growth where the leaves are green (gives me some hope of saving it). On the other hand, there is absolutely nothing on the branches that are dry.

Is there anything I can do to stimulate the dry branches to produce leaves again?

Oh, and would that stimuli apply to hemlocks too? I have a hemlock that I hedged a bit too much, and to my surprise (and a bit of horror) the branches are taking soooo long to produce leaves. :oops:
It's been 3 years, and I can still see the branches where I cut.

Leo

MaineDesigner
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Most conifers except Taxus (Yews) and Tsuga (Hemlocks) have almost zero ability to break new growth on old wood. Even with the two species noted there are limits. If your hemlock has not broken new growth on those bare branches in three years the odds are that it won't happen. In the case of the spruce, although it may eventually fill in from live growth on the sides, the bare branches have absolutely no prospect of new growth.

leonardochen
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Thanks. I'll remove the dead branches from the Spruce and hope that the branches nearby fill in the holes.

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