Seasonal Needle Drop on Pines
During the late summer and fall, many pine trees in the Kansas City area may drop their needles. This is a natural process occurring each year. New growth on the branch tips is unaffected.
Needles on pines drop from trees after one or more years. Certain species may keep them for longer periods. Scotch and Ponderosa pines for example, keep their needles for three years. This pattern may be different on any given year, depending on the species as well as environmental conditions of a certain tree. Nevertheless, evergreens shed old needles from the inner portion of the tree.
Needle drop may occur gradually, but sometimes it occurs in a short amount of time. When it occurs quickly, many homeowners become concerned. Needle drop naturally occurs on the inside portion of the tree in late summer or fall. If there is yellowing or dieback on tips of branches, or if spots on individual needles develops, then there may be a problem. Look closely at the needles to see if spotting or tip dieback has developed. If so, call your local county Extension office for questions on diseases in pines.