Rain and Needle Size…

Michael Hagedorn

You may have noticed that some years we have much longer needles on our pines than other years. Why? We haven’t done anything differently…

But the weather has.

Those years have unseasonably high springtime rainfall. And what is water to a plant? Food. (Water + CO2 + Light = Dinner)

This White Pine is showing needles twice as long as the year before, the result of a lot of rain in the spring. And being mid-May they will continue to get longer yet…

More water equals more food, and more food results in more plant tissue. Longer needles…longer internodes…larger leaves…longer petioles… Bigger elements. And there’s not a lot we can do about that out on the open benches. But the good news is that larger foliage will bring more buds. Then when drier springs cycle through again, we can program our watering to water only when the trees are drying…

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