I have 4 pine trees (not sure the type but they look like Christmas trees) in my back yard. They were planted at the end of May by the people that we bought the house from. One of them has turned completely brown (but still has needles on the tree but they are slowly falling off), and the others are beginning to turn brown near the edges.

I live in Maryland (USA) and it is the start of winter but not below freezing if it matters.

What should I do to save these trees? Is the one that is all brown already dead? Will it come back? Maybe I am not watering them enough? How much water should they get?

  • 4
    please upload pictures of your tree. It is extremely hard to diagnose/give advice in gardening without pictures Oct 24, 2012 at 20:39

2 Answers 2


It may be too late for the one that is completely brown, and you may decide you don't want to keep the others which have brown parts either. Trees, any variety, need regular and copious amounts of water in their first 2 years, so around 2 gallons a week as a minimum, more if the weather is hot and dry. They are at risk of dying from drought without it, and in the case of conifers, will start to go brown and shed needles in some parts, if not all.

Unfortunately, your trees will always have those dead and brown parts, although growth may continue in other parts, and even at the tips of dead branches, if water arrived in time, but they do not regenerate or grow replacement needles in parts which have been affected.

  • Thanks, Do they still need water when it is cold/snowy out? I'll make sure they get copious water for the next couple months and see if they are saved at all.
    – Michael
    Oct 24, 2012 at 19:27
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    No, they don't need watering once the weather becomes damp and cool in autumn, nor in winter when its cold.
    – Bamboo
    Oct 25, 2012 at 12:15

Some trees, such as Cedars, will brown and drop part of their needles each year, but if the branches are mostly brown, then it's too late. The branch is dead. Best you can do is lop it off. If most of the branches are dead, you might as well take out the tree completely.

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