Yamadori Douglass Fir Browning

Hello Mirai community. I could really use some help or insight on the behavior of a Doug fir I collected fall of 2022. I live in Denver Colorado and the tree was collected in September 2022. It was put into 100% pumice and lightly watered before winter set in. It maintained its needles throughout the winter and during spring it initially dropped a lot if not most needles and then started to push new growth.

It looked like it was doing well until we had a heat spell. I unfortunately was away for a week and when returning the foliage started to turn brown. I kept watering but it didn’t help with the browning foliage. I did some reading around and one suggestion was it might be overheating since temps were 90-100. I eventually pulled it out of full sun and into shade in hopes to stop the browning and that seems to have slowed it down however 80% of the growth is brown or a green/brown hue. When inspecting the growth the tips are still flexible and don’t appear to be dead however the tips of the greenest growth have brown needles at the tip.

Any suggestions on what could be the cause and if there is something I should be doing? I really don’t want to lose this tree.

With the tree having lost most of its needles water accordingly it will be sensitive to overwatering. I assume it still has some original soil, ensure that this at least dries out somewhat before watering again (don’t let it dry to dust). Keep it outside of direct sun and hope for the best.

Yes it does have quite a bit of original soil. I dug in a little bit to check the ‘sheen’ as it didn’t have much roots on one side and can see your thoughts might be accurate. It’s too saturated under the trunk and I could see a few roots rotted. Aside from pulling it out in direct sun and ideas to dry it out a bit?

Withhold watering and protect from rain.