Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Sad Tale of Bob the Tree

Ways back whens in September, I bought a sweet wee tree who told me to call him Bob.
I live in a north-facing apartment, and so was concerned for Bob's well being and ability to thrive under such circumstances. I asked the employee at the nursery, and was assured that Bob would survive the winter on the balcony, and be able to take the lack of sunshine with nary a problem.

This is apparently not the case.
I felt sorry and fearful for Bob out on the balcony, where he would have to reckon with whipping winds as well as shelter-seeking pigeons.
Bob came inside.

A few weeks ago, just as I was decorating my arborious friend for the festive season, I noticed his inward-facing side was dropping needles.
Now, his backside is almost entirely bare.

He's retaining needles on the side facing the window, so my theory is that it's the lack of sunshine that's making him go prematurely bald.

Now, I wonder: is this needle loss permanent, and should I be preparing for an impending coniferous funeral?
I need to find a tree doctor.
They aren't that easy to find in the yellow pages :p


Wanderingcatstudio said...

Poor Bob. I would try turning him twice a day, so each side gets a little sunshine... maybe?

Erin Wallace said...

My mom had the same thing happen to her sweet little tree. She'd had him for years and he just decided to start dropping needles and nearly died. She called our local plant conservatory and they gave her some suggestions and he eventually recovered, though not completely. Sweet, poor Bob.

piggie1230 said...

I vote he's okay. I don't know if he'll be permanently bald, but turning him occasionally should be okay. Like one a week even. I'm sure he could use some kind of fertilizer or something, but I'm not that expertized on trees.

Lindsay said...

I worked at a plant nursery for years.

Try turning him about a quarter of a turn in one direction every day. That way he gets a full day's worth of sunshine on each section of him over the course of half a week or so.

Julie said...

I guess whoever sold Bob to you didn't know what Bob needed! I'd agree with the suggestions of rotating him. Although I suspect that you'll have to prune off the dead branches. once you can see what parts will recover and what parts won't.

Umiko said...

When I was little I loved the movie The Professional. (Don't ask my why!) But from him I learned to rotate my plants every day so that they get sun exposure on all sides.

Hilary said...

Aw, poor Bob! Unfortunately, despite being a farmer's daughter, I have a black thumb and kill every plant I come in contact with. I even killed a ficus once, and that's supposed to be pretty hard. Turning Bob (as others have suggested) sounds like a good idea...thought I don't know if I would trust me. :(