Half of tree dying

Asked March 2, 2020, 1:11 AM EST

This evergreen tree was planted last spring. It looked great all summer and early fall the top of the tree it lost its green needles. Over the winter one side of the tree lost most of its needles. The other side of the tree still looks great! Any ideas what is going wrong? The side of the tree that has lost its needles receives more sun than the other side of the tree. I am only able to upload one photo, but can send more via email if provided an email address.

New Castle County Delaware

3 Responses

Sorry, I can't tell much from your photo. If you can bring a sample into the Extension Office at 461 Wyoming Ave., in Newark, we will look for damage from insects or fungi. Be sure the sample has some healthy and some unhealthy tissue.

If it is not an insect or fungal problem, I would guess that it was a planting issue. If the roots on one of side of tree were not able to grow out into the new soil, the parts of the tree connected to these roots would not have gotten enough water to survive. This happens when a plant is root bound in a pot or root ball and the roots are not teased apart when planting. It also may happen if soil was not packed firmly around the roots when the tree was planted leaving air spaces underground. When roots are not in contact with the soil, they can't absorb water and the plant dehydrates.

Bringing you a sample sounds like a good idea. I am able to stop by weekdays after 3:45 or anytime on the weekend. Can you please email me back and let me know what days & times someone is available?

There's a kiosk in the hall where you can leave the sample. The next person in will pick it up and look at it. You don't need an appointment.