The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Dying? pine branches overhanging my roof


By Sibby

United Kingdom Gb

A large forked branch of a neighbour's pine tree is overhanging my roof. The problem is that in the last year it seems to have died, possibly of a fungus. The pines turned a deep rusty red then eventually fell off leaving bare twig-like branches which are a weird silvery white colour and look as though the bark has been peeled off. The fir cones on those particlar branches have blown up huge and are dark coloured (surrounding cones on healthy branches are long, slim and bright green. I can see what looks like a crusty white fungus type growth on the affected branches.
Is this just an odd branch dying off and of no consequence or it it something more serious which could lead to the whole tree dying. I am also worried about the branches cracking off onto my roof.
The house owners live overseas and there is a tree preservation order in force here so I don't want to draw on myself the expense of involving the Council unecessarily. Many thanks.



Hello Sibby,
Has the branch split at the fork? Overhanging branches on rooves are subject to heat from the sun and are perching places for birds leaving droppings both causing burning of the needles. The white growth is die-back.
The cones are overfed hence have died off. For the benefit of the tree have an arborist in to cut back affected branch, also eventually the branch will break off and damage your roof

29 Aug, 2008


Hello Doctorbob1, Thank you for your reply. No, the branch has not split at the fork, it still looks ok there, as, being a huge tree the dead area is a bit above the junction. As its my neighbours tree I don't want to bear the cost of any work. If left alone will this die back spread to the whole tree and if so, what period of time is likely to be in question. Once again, thanks.

29 Aug, 2008


I have just done a search for info on aphids and in the write up about it there is reference to an aphid that likes pine trees. It causes a sticky residue and causes the problems you mention. Goggle it, it is about 6 down the list and just called APHIDS
Lynne x

30 Aug, 2008


Hello again Sibby,
This is a tricky problem. I can understand that as it is not your tree you are reluctant to bear any cost.
Is it possible for you to contact your neighbour so that you can share the cost. The damage will spread if left untreated and will cause huge damage to your roof should it snap off. It is difficult to put a time limit on it as you can have a perfectly healthy tree and have a dry spell and it will still be healthy but after heavy rain the disease spreads and you have a major problem. A stitch in time may prevent a large bill in the future.

30 Aug, 2008

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?