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Fall Needle Drop in Evergreens – This is Normal (09/24/20)

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been getting a lot of calls and emails regarding evergreen needles turning brown or yellow.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been getting a lot of calls and emails regarding evergreen needles turning brown or yellow. It’s the older, inner needles that are dying. This is actually normal and can be found in pines, spruces, arborvitae, junipers and other conifers.

Those older needles get shaded out by the newest growth, and become unproductive. The tree then sheds these needles; we’ve seen this happen as early as August though the situation has increased across the state recently.

Pines hold their needles for 3-5 years before shedding them. Spruces usually hold on longer, about 5-8 years. What we’re seeing is normal, and it’s nothing to worry about.

frstry.pine

 

Joe Zeleznik

NDSU Extension Forestry Specialist

 

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