Recently Planted White Pine

Asked September 13, 2017, 8:15 PM EDT

I planted 3 potted White Pine Trees about 6 weeks ago. The were a healthy 36 inches tall and very full. Lately I notice some of the inner needles are turning yellow. I have been watering regularly. Am I watering too much? Too little? What will keep them happy? The soil is sandy. Or are some yellow needles normal? Thanks for the information

Hennepin County Minnesota

3 Responses

I would suggest that it has something to do with the planting. You should have amended your sandy soil with 1/2 compost-1/2 native soil mixed together. Then make sure the roots are not going in a circle but spread a little. Then do not plant them too deep. The first real roots should be just a little below the surface of the soil. Finally, to determine the amount of water needed, stick your finger into the soil. If it is dry up to the second knuckle, it needs water. Water slowly and deeply. Check every other day the first few weeks until the weather cools off. If you have done all the right things when planting, then it may be planting stress. if you are concerned about the planting, you can carefully dig them up and do it over. They have not been in the ground long enough to be well rooted yet. You need to keep watering your evergreens until the ground freezes to avoid winter burn.

Thanks so much for the fast response. When planting the trees, I was careful to flare the roots out some so I think that is ok. I did not amend the soil, and just broke it up nicely and incorporated the topsoil with the sandier soil thinking that they would the adapt to the natural soil in the environment. Short of digging them up, is there a starter fertilizer or some way to provide them a little boost? Since it is only three of them, I could feed them regularly if that would help them to get established.. Your expertise is much appreciated!

We do not recommend fertilizing newly planted trees/shrubs. Fertilizer encourages top growth at the expense of root growth. That is one of the ideas behind the compost in the soil. However, if you do not want to dig and plant again (which I certainly understand) you could put some compost on top and work it into what is there. Then the important thing is the watering. Check the soil moisture as I instructed you. Good luck.