In early summer, when new needles on single flush pine species are finishing growing and hardening off, we may see old needles yellowing and falling off. This is a totally normal process of replacement. One can assist the tree by removing these old needles at this time, so that light and air can get into the branches.
Consider: This is an evergreen, but even evergreens need to lose old foliage at some point. Otherwise they would still have their first leaf or needle.
A Shore Pine losing some of last year’s needles in early summer. The patchiness on this tree is not needle cast disease, but the natural process of the tree beginning to reclaim the nutrition in the chlorophyll before dropping the needle (plants are so smart…). The yellow indicates this process is complete. And it’s also a timing indicator for us that it’s time to begin fertilizing…
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