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Last October we purchased three 7-foot pine trees from a nursery. We planted them successfully in our yard. I just noticed this weekend that some of the branches towards the bottom look like they're dying (turning color, appear to be drying out). Is this normal after winter? Or would it be a sign that the trees haven't received enough water during the winter?
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It depends on which needles are dying. If it is the older needles (those closer to the center of the tree) you are probably okay. If the young needles near the tips of the branches are dying, then there is most likely a problem. At this point, I would recommend that you wait until spring and see if there is healthy new growth from the tips. It is not uncommon to have some stress during transplanting, but if you get good new growth you should be okay. Conifers can dry out during the winter, and it is hard to say without knowing your local conditions. In general most pines should be okay unless we get a cold, windy winter with little precipitation.
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