Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Preventive Medicine

with 2 comments

We have now received three diagnoses for what has possibly been killing our pine trees over the three years that we have lived here.

The first guy thought it might be related to spider mites. He offered to treat all our trees with over $1000 worth of insecticide.

The second guy became very alarmed over the visible damage from sap suckers. I am grateful that the second guy was at least thorough enough to have also taken needle samples back for further analysis and consultation with other experts.

We are feeling most confident with the follow-up diagnosis he came up with of a fungus. Given that we are not interested in applying toxins in hopes of treating our remaining trees, I have responded to advice from the arborist to give our remaining healthy trees plenty of food and water for the best chance going forward.

DSCN4529eWhen he suggested giving them a good bedding, I pointed out that I have plenty of composting horse manure.

“That would be great for bedding.” he said.


Well, one done. Many to go.
















Written by johnwhays

March 21, 2016 at 6:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Yes, John, third time lucky on correct advice. Note that pine tree roots are rather like looking at a wine glass – not your favorite metaphor I know – that is to say, the roots fan out on the surface. And, yes, a healthy tree is likely to be able to shake off parasites. Hence, you don’t need to target your manure directly round the base of the tree but simply surrounding it. For us, the manure works in wet periods but I guess that is not a problem in your part of the world. Otherwise, pine trees are not demanding and grow well on arid land. Here, our problem may not be unlike yours in some aspects. There are more parasites attacking the trees. This is because of our recent mild winters. Severe cold usually sets the process back.

    Nevertheless, because of the increasing average temperatures here, we are cutting back on pine trees because of their tendency to increase the risk of fires.

    Ian Rowcliffe

    March 21, 2016 at 8:14 am

    • Yeah, we are on the verge of needing to decide if we are going to plant some replacements, and if so, what that might be, if not more of the same pines.
      I’m feeling inclined toward cedar as one possibility…


      March 21, 2016 at 8:32 pm

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