on October 22, 2012, editor
Every year about this time I get this question – Why are the needles on my white pines turning yellow? For most people, the answer is simply that this is normal fall needle drop. Taken a step further, if you look at numerous different needled evergreens at this time of year, you’ll notice that the older needles or foliage have turned a distinct and often bright yellow or brown color, while this year’s growth is still green. And that’s the key.
Most needled evergreens go through a distinct fall needle drop right about now. They vary by species in terms of which needles they drop. Some species will hold onto only this year’s needles and shed all the old ones. On the other hand, some species will hold onto one, two, three or even four year’s worth of needles and shed the ones older than that. I’ve posted some photos in the photo gallery.
So, the bottom line is that if you are looking at nice dark green needles that were produced on the ends of the branches this year, and further back the stem there is a layer of bright yellow needles, you are probably looking at normal fall needle drop of evergreens. And if you aren’t sure what you’re looking at, you know what to do… Call your friendly, neighborhood consulting arborist! And have a great fall!
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