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Stress can also be caused by the lack of nutrients. In some cases, poor soils may be with out specific trace elements. Trace element deficiencies are hard to pin point. A good well balanced fertiliser will normally do the trick.

For quicker or more immediate results a soluble or liquid fertiliser can be administered. A complete soluble fertiliser is ideal for maintaining a healthy plant in a large pot configuration. Think of soluble fertiliser application as a quick fix.

Normally the application of a good organic fertiliser, twice a year provides all round year growth and vitality. A couple of hand fulls of Dynamic Lifter (or the like), around each tree at the beginning of Spring and the end of Summer will do the trick. Watered in well, the fertiliser quickly finds its way to the roots. Because most of these fertilisers are heavy in the Nitrogen component, they are particularly good at maintaining colour and leaf growth.

This is important in conifer gardens, because usually if your tree maintains a bright sheen of outer foliage, your plant is growing well. As previously mentioned, the thick dense nature of some conifers does not allow inner foliage growth and are breeding grounds for various fungi that can attack the plant. If your conifer is showing this bright, lush outer foliage you have little to worry about.

When conifers stress they can fall prey to various diseases. Normally all are of a fungal variety. Without being specific most of these are water borne.

The symptoms usually include:

• Excess browning inside the tree.
• Lower branches or limbs dying off.
• The yellowing of foliage, usually beginning at the bottom of the main stem and slowly      spreading  up the plant and out along the branches.

First thing to do is check the state of the plant in general. Is it getting enough water? Is it getting too much water? Has it had a decent feed of fertiliser lately?

If the answers to the above questions is yes, it may need a quick dousing of Fungicide.