Brown Evergreens

I have received a number of calls this summer concerning pine trees that are dying or that are losing a lot of brown pine needles. Some of this may be due to the natural growth of the tree.

Pines and most other conifers are called evergreens, but their needles do not stay alive and green forever. Generally, new needles are produced every spring and summer and last for two to four years.

So, as the tree grows larger year-by-year, newer needles are always at branch ends and older needles are farther back in the crown. As needles age, they become less efficient at producing food for the tree. They also become more shaded by newer needles. For these reasons, old needles finally turn brown and drop off.

We may also see trees that suffer from water shortage and are actually dying because of a water shortage. Our sandy soil causes problems when trying to grow field crops and also causes problems for our trees.

  To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.