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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2008, 10:30 PM
letsgetstoned's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Concolor Fir looks pale, drops needles, otherwise healthy

We can't get to the root (pun intended) of the problem Each year the tree puts out new candles, they grow well, then in August parts of the tree (inner and outer needles randomly) turn brown and eventually turn to mulch. A few years ago I noticed many roots were exposed due to soil runoff, so I added a few bags of topsoil to cover the roots. I do not overwater the tree, yet I constantly monitor the root area to prevent dry conditions. Fertilizing does not seem to make any difference...some years I skip it, others I add it. This summer I built a low retaining wall and filled in with just enough dirt to insure no more erosion. Originally, the tree was not set very deep into a hole by the landscaper, but the rootball was partially covered with soil. I believe this was the beginning of the problem, but I have taken the steps outlined above to correct the erosion and bare roots yet I still get the branch/needle dieoff. I know that many fir trees will shed needles on the inner branches (like a white pine), but this is more severe and occurs in late summer each year. The new growth at the top looks good and there is a healthy leader, but overall the color is very pale and the tree si looking very sparse. I've run out of ideas...any tips greatly appreciated...i can send pics if needed.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2008, 08:45 AM
NCSULandscaper's Avatar
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how about some pictures..............have you tried shearing off the branch tips to promote extra growth? It sounds like the landscaper did plant it right, its better to plant high and leave some of the rootball exposed than too deep. Remember just because you see a few roots at the top doesnt mean thats all the roots the tree has.

Does your tree have the growing requirements in this pdf file?
Matt Thompson
Thompson's Landscaping
Henderson, NC

NC Registered Landscape Contractor #1862
NC Certified Plant Professional
NC Licensed Pesticide Applicator
NC Certified Nurseryman
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2008, 07:15 PM
letsgetstoned's Avatar
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Wow, I wish mine looked like the one in the picture. I'll post some pics for you to see how sparse this puppy is.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:12 PM
letsgetstoned's Avatar
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letsgetstoned is an unknown quantity at this point
Here are the pics:

Notice how healthy all the other evergreens look with no brown spots or falling needles, in the Black Hills Spruces, Norway, and White Pines.

Whatcha think???
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2012, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Norwalk, OH
USDA Zone 5
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Organic Air Bernie is on a distinguished road
Might be Stem-girdling roots

Tough to tell from the photos, but I could not see a good root-flare at the base of your tree. Concolor Firs are prone to developing stem-girdling roots if the flare is below the soil line. Though you may have some visible roots on the soil surface, that's not always an indicator of correct planting depth. Adventitious roots, some of which may be circling, may run across the surface. Also, depending on how compacted your soil is, roots from the true root collar, even if originating from below the soil line, will rise to the surface to get air and moisture. That would not preclude adventitious roots from forming and circling, and eventually girdling the trunk, and causing tree decline.

For more info on Stem-girdling roots, see this web site from Univ. of Minnesota
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:31 PM
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Sounds like it may be needle cast. Check the underside of the needles for a dark ridge indicating fungal fruiting growths.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:55 PM
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I agree with Greatscapes_CC It looks and sounds like needle cast. This can be controlled if you are persistent using a fungicide such as Daconil as well as using good sanitation measures
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Beer in one hand - Nacho's in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming : Woo Hoo, what a ride!

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