Yellow Japanese White Pine

I purchased this JWP from a bonsai nursery in late July '22. I was told that it had been re-potted in April of that year. The foliage looked very green and healthy when I got it, but the new growth that emerged is rather yellow.

I’m concerned it’s a root related issue for two reasons. The first, I noticed that the akadama that it came in has been very easily breaking down. It’s gone to an almost powdery texture on the surface. The second reason is the uniform nature of the yellowing. It is occurring across the entirety of the tree’s growth.

I’d love to hear from some people that know more than me, but my hunch is that it isn’t in great soil and needs to be re-potted. The problem with that is that it was just re-potted last year, and spring 24’ might be a bit soon for that. Especially for a pine.

Check out the included photos and let me know your thoughts! Thank you.

No answers to share, but I am having a similar experience myself.

I purchased this white pine at a nursery in 2022 and saw an overall decline in health through the next year. It is in a plastic garden pot with 100% akadama, which to me seems like a terrible choice in the very wet and rainy Netherlands


  • dropping needles much earlier than I would expect
  • yellow discoloration across all needles on all parts of the tree

Steps taken:

  • I inspected the roots and found a pretty sizable infestation of root aphids. Can be very hard to discern between this and myochorrizal activity. Given the freshness of the soil I concluded it was impossible for it to be anything other than root aphids
  • two treatments with pyrethrin oil. This is a 100% naturally derived oil. I prepared a solution (according to instructions) and soaked my soil two times this season. The process was pouring the solution over the plant and collecting the runoff in a bucket. I then reused the collected solution about 10-15 more times to completely saturate the soil.
  • Removing wooly agelids across the tree. Indeed the top of the tree was also suffering from quite an infestation of wooly agelids. These are easier to remove, you can simply take a high pressure spray and remove them with water. I did about three passes over the course of a month to try and remove
  • Lime sulphur winter spray. I want to try and keep the agelids away next season, will do three dormant sprays this season
  • Repotted into a pond basket. No root work, but given the poor choice of soil and incredible amount of rain in Noord Holland I wanted better oxygen saturation. I slip potted from the current plastic bowl into a pond basket.

Well see how next year goes, I think it’ll be a bumpy ride again like this year

1 Like

Thank you for your insight. Pines seem to be so difficult. I will have to take a look at the roots. Do you think I can do that now? Or would it be better to wait for spring?

If it were my tree I’d wait. While the colors are a little different, it could simply be because it is new growth or getting a different color (or bronze) for the season. Even healthy junipers will change color through the winter, doesn’t mean it is unhealthy.

I would wait until spring and see what’s happening at that time. Especially if this was just repotted, wouldn’t stress it right now

1 Like

From my experience, the first example looks like it may just be over watering. Are you watering on a schedule or only when needed?

1 Like

I water as needed, but there have definitely been periods of rain this season where it should have been protected. When it will be days of rain I put it on my porch under the roof.