Identification: Please help me identify and save this potted tree!

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by KateWN, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. KateWN

    KateWN Member

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    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    Hi there,

    I recently started working at a new job, and there is a tree in the office that looks quite ill to me. I'd like to save it, but have no idea what it is and therefore can't research specific information. It's watered by a coworker every 2-4 days, and gets the most direct sunlight in the office throughout the day. Is there anything I can do differently? I'm not a plant expert, but I'm willing to learn!

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Sea Witch

    Sea Witch Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum KateWN.

    Others will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's a Araucaria heterophylla or Norfolk Pine. I'm not sure what's wrong with it--perhaps others will know--but the first thing I'd do is prune off those dead branches. They are not coming back from the dead, and it's not going to regrow where you prune it.

    What kind of environment is it in? full sun? bright but not full sun? Is it near a heating or air conditioning vent?
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Either Araucaria columnaris or Araucaria heterophylla. The two are effectively indistinguishable at this age, but the former is far commoner in modern commerce so is the more likely of the two.
     
  4. KateWN

    KateWN Member

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    I guess you could say it's in bright but not full sun. The light comes in the window all day, but the sun is moving more over the building than directly in the window. I'm just in a big room with ac vents in the ceiling, but the tree started to die before the ac was necessary - although at that point we would have been using heat instead. We don't keep it overly hot or cold in here though, it's fairly moderate.
     
  5. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Is there a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot? It looks like the plant is either dried up or over watered.
    If there is no drainage hole, the plant is quite likely over watered (there may be standing water inside at the bottom of the pot).
    If there is a drainage hole, than it is not getting enough water (there is no saucer at the bottom of the pot but the floor never gets wet).
    Making a drainage hole at the bottom of the planter, putting a saucer underneath and watering thoroughly (until the water shows up in the saucer) not more often than once a week could prevent the damage from spreading.
     
  6. riptidefrog

    riptidefrog Active Member

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    I had one of these in my home as i was growing up. It grew and then dropped lower branches regularly. I think that this is just what this tree doen when grown in the confines of a home.

    I'd prune off the brown and then see whats left. The rest of the plant looks vibrantly alive and has even put off new growth near the top.
     
  7. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    I think that the branches drop off normally. Perhaps it's getting too much water? This Araucaria heterophylla or Norfolk Pine is related to monkey puzzle trees I thought that these plants don't like wet.
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    According to my plant book:
     
  9. micasa

    micasa Member

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    I've had bad experiences with these. They like to be misted with cool water, but apparently not right out of the tap, because I hosed them down and they seemed to be doing great till they started to yellow at the tips and lost a few branches. They are also said to thrive on humid organic and slightly acidic soil, but if you over water they'll also react badly. In short what I've come to find is that they really need to be in a stable environnement, consisting of moist organic soil and cool damp air.
     

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