Fall is the time of year that our office tends to see an influx of concerned calls; all with a similar question: are my pine trees dying? Mostly, the concern is associated to white pines. However, many pines are doing the exact same thing - shedding.
The Process of Shedding
In the Fall, pines shed their inner most foliage. These are the needles that are least efficient; those that, being on the inside, can no longer effectively perform photosynthesis and thus supply the tree with necessary sugars. How often they do this depends on the species of tree. Pine trees tend to hold on to their needles for 2-5 years or more; where as spruces can hold them them for longer. 5-7 years.
How Can I Tell if my Pines Are Shedding or Dying?
One way to tell if your pines are shedding is to look at the tree as a whole. If the percentage of shed needles looks to be about a third of the total amount, then that is a good sign of shed. Another way is to look at the outer needles themselves. If there is new growth and the needles look healthy, then this is another positive sign that your pine trees are simply getting in on the festive color display that is Autumn.
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