My beloved pine is sick, can you help?
I have a huge pine next to my house. It is approximately 80 to 100 years old. I'm not sure what kind of pine it is, but new growth doesn't grow up, it hangs down, like dripping fringe. Perhaps a Norway? It is more than twice the size of my two-story house, I'm guessing possibly seven stories high, and it the diameter is at least as wide as my house. It has seemed less healthy in the last couple of years, but I thought it was something that would pass. This year it seems quite ill, and I have no idea what to do to help it. I am hoping you could tell me if this is a disease and if there is something I can do to treat it. I have no way of knowing how far the roots have gone and if they've reached something toxic. Poison ivy and grapes try to grow up the trunk, and we do remove them. I kill the poison ivy with a natural remedy of vinegar, salt and Dawn dish soap, so no weed killers are used. This year, there is a great deal more dead branches, and the pine cone crop is greatly diminished. There are still some healthy areas, but the unhealthy ones are scattered all over the tree, not in just one isolated area. This gorgeous tree is one of the reasons we bought the house, so I'm hoping you have a solution and this isn't just a tree dying of old age.
Van Buren County Michigan
Likely disease(s) yes, with possible insect activity as well, and it is a spruce tree, not a pine. What is needed, and soon, is an evaluation by a Certified Arborist, one who specializes in everything woody. Find one or more Certified Arborists in your zip code at www.treesaregood.org Click on the Find an Arborist tab. Arborist evaluations are not expensive and are where you can learn much about keeping your trees healthy.
Procrastination is never good. The problems usually only get worse, not better, and valuable time is lost for possible life saving treatment.