Why Is Your Pine Tree Losing Its Needles?


Pine trees are not meant to shed their needles in the fall like deciduous trees shed their leaves. While a few needles tumbling off here and there are no cause for concern, you should be worried if your pine tree suddenly starts losing large numbers of needles. Here's a look at some of the most common causes of needle loss in pines—and what you should do about them.

Needle Blight

Needle blight is a fungal infection that can affect most any species of pine tree. The fungi take up residence in the twigs and the needles. Early on in the infection, you may notice the needles developing some yellow and brown spots. Then, within a few months, they start falling off as the fungi "kill" the needles. Needle blight usually affects the lower branches of a tree. If you think your tree may have needle blight, here are a few ways to fight it:

  • Have the lower, most infected branches trimmed away.
  • Make sure your tree is not being exposed to excessive moisture, such as water from a sprinkler. The fungi that cause needle blight thrive on moist needles.
  • Clear away the fallen needles promptly. They might harbor fungal spores that can re-infect the tree.

Needle blight is not typically deadly, though it can increase your tree's susceptibility to other infections.

Pine Wilt

Pine wilt is a deadly tree disease caused by a specific species of worm. The worms work their way into the tree's vascular cells, impacting their ability to transport water and nutrients to the tree's branches. As a result, the needles dry out and fall off. If your tree's symptoms came on suddenly and seem to affect the entire tree, then pine wilt might be to blame. Sadly, there is no effective treatment. Have an arborist from a company like Phoenix Tree Service come confirm the diagnosis, and if the tree is infected with pine wilt, remove it from your property to reduce the spread of the disease.


Has it been really dry in your area recently? The problem could just be that your tree is not getting enough water, and this is causing some of the needles to dry out and fall. Typically, if drought is to blame, you won't see any bare branches on the tree. The needle loss just occurs sporadically along all branches. Try watering your tree every few days until rainfall increases, and you should see an improvement.


11 November 2016

Improving The Look Of Our Trees

After we moved into our house, we knew that something had to be done about our trees. The branches looked off-kilter, and we could tell that someone had pruned them incorrectly at one time or another. Unfortunately, we weren't really sure how to repair the damage. A family friend talked with us about hiring a professional tree trimmer, and so we called them the next day. The difference that they made was astounding. They removed dead branches, trimmed up the shape, and let more sunlight through. My blog is all about improving the look of your trees by hiring a professional.