White pines aren't white (or green)


Well-Known Member
I have two white pines in my yard that have looked unhealthy since we bought the property 7 years ago. They're still there. The needles never get a normal-looking green color. They are always more yellowish than the other white pines we have.

The ground around them has a very high water table most of the year. For probably 6 months out of the year the water table is within a foot of the ground surface. I think that's why the needles always look yellowish, but would like a second opinion (or third or fourth). My wife keeps bugging me to find out why they're yellow so I could really use some more opinions. There are no roots exposed at the surface. The nearby spruce trees all have exposed roots, which I assume is at least partly due to the high water table.

The second concern are the brown portions of the needles seen in the closeup. Is this seasonal needle drop, or something else? Last summer we noticed a minor infestation of sawfly larvae, but they never took over the whole tree.

Any suggestions on how to get the trees to green-up better? Are the brown needles anything to be concerned about? White Pine Both Trees.jpg White Pine Branch.jpg White Pine Needle closeup.jpg


Well-Known Member
White pine certainly won't be happy with the water table you described. They like to keep dry feet...not mountaintop dry, but certainly not in the water for 6 months.

Something like that is what we could call a "predisposing factor" contributing to decline. Anything else that happens from there is generally considered secondary...often bugs attracted to a stressed tree; or perhaps bugs that the tree could normally fight off, but doesn't have the resources to deal with in its weakened state.

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