|Pinus strobus fall needle drop|
Drought, root injury, herbicide damage and environmental stress can make this occurrence seem more pronounced as well as White Pines that are mature-which can lose half of their needles every Fall. As I said all conifers lose their needles at some time-here are some pics of other conifers in my gardens that are experiencing Fall needle drop:
|Arborvitae experiencing Fall needle drop|
|Chamaecyparis obtusa experiencing Fall needle drop|
|Picea abies "Pendula" experiencing Fall needle drop|
|Thuja nigra experiencing Fall needle drop|
Notice in the pictures how the browning affects only the interior part of the plant? This is entirely normal. Below is a picture of a plant that has browning on the tips (where there should be new growth) and quite a bit of the interior. This is not normal Fall needle drop but instead it is damage caused from cold last winter:
|Chamaecyparis browning not related to fall needle drop|
So what can or should you do? Well, you don't really need to do anything. Personally, I clean up the interiors of my conifers-at least the ones that are shorter. I think removing the dead foliage helps to cut down on insects and disease by keeping the interior free of debris. Those needles can really build up in denser conifers such as Arborvitae and Thuja. I also rake up the needles and use them as mulch for my gardens. They work great and decompose more slowly than leaves.
I hope this post was useful and just remember that Fall needle drop is a natural occurrence in conifers and not to worry. If you are still concerned contact your local county extension office or a certified arborist and seek advice. It never hurts to ask questions or get help!
Until next time-Happy Planting!