JBP and JRP Yellow/Brown Needles?


(Maurizio Leo) #1

I have around 10 JBP bareroot seedlings I purchased a year ago and 4 JRP seedlings I picked up this year.

Last year I potted the JBP seedlings in a mix of lava and pumice with a small amount of organic material (mostly compost) layered on top to help with some moisture retention. Most of my JBP have done pretty well the past year, but a couple have turned a bit yellow over the winter. My guess is that I improperly fertilized them at the end of last growing season, essentially a bit too late and growth did not harden off before winter.

You can see this JBP here:

Here is the other one with slightly yellow needles up top (sorry for the bad picture):

Any thoughts on my hypothesis?

For my newly acquired JRPs, when I received them I promptly potted the bareroot seedlings in the same mix as my JBP sans any organic material: only lava and pumice. I potted these in colanders and did some prelim wiring. As you can see below some of the needles have turned a bit brown and dry looking. Any thoughts on this? Is it simply under watering? Is the substrate not conducive for seedlings this young? Is it a no-no to repot and wire in the same season?

(By the way the needles on the above JRP look much more “firm” than what I was expecting, especially compared to the other JRPs I picked up).

I know the needles on JRP should be a bit more flimsy looking compared to JBPs, but these look a bit like they are struggling to me – this may just be my naivety with these pines.

I should also mention I live in Abq, NM where it is very dry and hot during the summer, but the pines did very well even in full sun (as expected).

As before, any help is much appreciated!


(Maurizio Leo) #2

Perhaps another observation: is it too soon to plant seedlings of this caliber in colanders (wrt to the JRP)?


(Sely) #3

Hi Maurizio
It might be from a wet winter for it and the pot might be much for it. It’s like a table full of food and only one person eating, eventually the food will begin to rot before the man finishes.


(Maurizio Leo) #4

@Sely thanks for the comments! The soil mixture is very well draining so I don’t believe much water is being held in the pots, even if they are on the larger side. The ones with compost might be a bit too large for some of the smaller seedlings.

Next batch I pick up I’ll start them off in smaller pots and gradually repot them into larger ones as they grow.


(Sely) #5

That’s what I do, gradually increasing the pot size. And you might be right, it might be from fertilization.


(Jonas Dupuich) #6

I like @Sely’s comments - larger pots when there aren’t many roots don’t try out quickly and overwatering is a common cause of damaged needles. Wiring and bare-rooting can be stressful for even young trees and may have contributed to the needle damage.

Too much or too little of nutrients or fertilizers may also contribute, but that can be harder to track down. Watching the water is a good idea for now.

As for the colanders, it’s not necessarily too early to use them, but as trees tend to dry out more quickly in colanders than they do in ceramic containers, it may require careful watering in summer when it heats up as Albuquerque isn’t the most humid of climates.

As for the red pine needles, seedlings can exhibit characteristics anywhere between red and black pines. Some will have floppier foliage, others will have more sturdy needles. Tree health also affects needle characteristics, as does decandling.

Hope this helps!


(Maurizio Leo) #7

Thanks for the info – I’ll keep a close eye on these colanders over the summer. I have some more JRP seedlings coming and plan to plant the largest of them in colanders and perhaps the smaller ones in smaller pots until they fill in a bit more.

After searching back through your blog I found a few entries where you discussed the difference between JBP and JRP needles and how JRP can range from stiff to flimsy. The bud color is a definite giveaway, however. Thanks!