Is it Normal for Pine Trees to Lose Needles in Fall?

During the fall, it is common for deciduous trees to lose their foliage and enter into a dormancy stage for the season. But evergreen trees are supposed to evergreen; so why do some lose their needles this time of year? Well, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. If your Pine trees are losing their needles, continue reading to learn common causes and treatments for evergreen foliage loss.

Pine trees shed their needles every 2 to 4 years, making some needle loss normal in fall.

The Facts Surrounding Pine Needle Loss

When pine trees begin to lose their needles, there’s no need to panic. And there’s certainly no need to remove the tree (in most cases). You see, evergreen trees are implied to be evergreen always, however their Pine needles are not meant to stay green and last forever.

Think of it like this: the hair on your head is always there, but it’s not the same hair from when you were a child. The same idea applies to Pine trees and their needles.

For evergreen trees, new pine needles are produced every spring and summer. These needles typically last anywhere from 2 to 4 years, and sometimes longer, depending on the region. This means that as trees grow taller and larger every year, more and more new pine needles are growing as well. You will find older pine needles farther back in the crown, and newly-produced needles towards the tips and in the branches. This cycle of shedding old needles for the sake of new ones continues on and on, year after year.

So Why Do Pine Needles Die?

After some time, pine needles lose their efficiency. As they age, they are less efficient at producing food for the tree, so they are replaced by newer, more efficient ones. Also, new pine needles block sunlight from the older ones, which is another reason why pine needles lose their efficiency. If your pine trees are losing more than a third or fourth of their needles, it may be an indication of another problem. Otherwise, the needle loss is normal.

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Call 317-537-9770 for professional pine tree service in Fishers, Indiana. We provide residential and commercial tree service, including tree trimming, tree pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, lot clearing, underbrush removal, and much more. Call 317-537-9770 to request an estimate, today.

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Why is My Pine Tree Losing its Needles?

Are you worried about your pine trees because they seem to be losing too many needles? If so, you are one among thousands of homeowners with the same concern. The good news is you don’t need to panic! And you don’t need to have your beloved pines chopped down and turned into firewood. Instead, it is helpful to understand common pine tree needle activity so that you can learn to differentiate between a problem and a natural occurrence. Continue reading to learn why your pine trees are losing needles, and what you can do to protect your trees.

Evergreen Trees

Although pine trees and other conifers are called evergreens, they do not necessarily remain green 100 percent of the time. You see, pine trees produce new needles in the spring, but not every spring. Generally, every two to four years a pine tree will begin new needle production. Old needles lose their efficiency in producing nutrients for the tree and get mostly shaded by newer growth, which makes them discolor and turn yellow or brown. So as the tree continues to grow over time, you will see new green needles at the tips of their branches, and older yellow-ish ones farther back into the crown.

Don’t rake! Old pine needles make a great mulch beneath pine trees!

Eventually, pine trees have to shed their old, inefficient needles, which is why they start to drop when a tree appears to be perfectly healthy otherwise. This is not harmful to pine trees at all, and is a normal part of nature. Since they have new growth coming in, shedding old needles every couple of years doesn’t hurt them. On the other hand, you should be concerned if your pine trees are losing needles at the tips of their branch where new growth comes in. This could be a sign that the tree is sick or under distress. Contact a local tree service company for professional diagnostics and treatment. They can also give you advice on how to protect and properly care for your trees.

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