Minnetrista Blogs

Natural Needle Drop Is Nothing to Worry About

When we think of trees in our area, there are two basic categories they fall into: deciduous and evergreen. Deciduous trees give us those great fall colors we are now seeing in the leaves, and of course, eventually, those leaves will fall to the ground.

The show that the fallen leaves produce, along with the eventual yard work, brings us all a part of a process that deciduous trees goes through to become dormant for winter. It’s a good thing too, because those tender leaves would never make it through the cold of winter, and would exhaust themselves trying to keep up.

On the evergreen side of trees, the strategy is of course different. With needles and special adaptions, evergreens stay green all year round and can even photosynthesize in the winter on sunny enough days.

The trees with this evergreen nature are some of the most popular for landscape use, and you can see them in many applications. It is very common for people who have them in their yards to get nervous this time of year and begin to worry.

That’s because even though they are evergreen trees, needle drop is still very much a part of the lifecycle for these trees, as well as for arborvitaes, pines, spruces, firs, and yews, which will also go through it.

The timing and color can vary depending on species, but signs of natural needle drop are consistent within species, and include:

• Timing of needle drop is seasonal (for example, white pines every fall).
• Yellowing or browning of needles is only on the interior portions, and is uniform.
• Yellowing is not accompanied by webbing from mites or fungal bodies.

Natural needle drop will vary in timing and seasonal nature depending on the species of evergreen, but in all cases is nothing to worry about.

If you are noticing something that resembles natural needle drop but aren’t certain, the first step is to find out what type of evergreen you have, and do some more up close observation.

After that, you can easily find more information on the cycle that species has for natural needle drop, and then you won’t need to worry any longer.