Hurricane Sandy caused damage to many evergreen trees here on Long Island and along the eastern coastline. The Eastern White Pines seemed to be most affected by the high winds and salt spray off the ocean and are showing signs of decline now in the month of December.High winds cause excessive transpiration (water loss) from needles of the pine causing them to turn reddish-brown, giving the tree a dead appearance.
There could be hope for the tree before it is taken as a lost cause. Search for evidence of green viable buds. If you see any green within the needles (see below) then the tree has a chance of bouncing back in the spring providing the winter isn’t too harsh. As water gets to the roots and needles of the tree there is a good chance that new growth will start to emerge. Deep root feeding your damaged pines in late March (early spring) can also help to promote new growth.
Pines naturally shed their older needles once a year usually in Fall or Spring and go through a major shed every three years.
For your damaged pine it could take up to three years for the tree to fully recover as it drops old needles and replaces with new but the tree could eventually make a full recovery.
Author: Lee@Landscape Design By Lee, 2012, All Rights Reserved