So many yellow needles, is my tree dying?

A:

Thank you for the photo. I would not be alarmed. If you look closely, you will see that the yellow needles are all towards the interior of the branchlets, meaning that they are older. Conifers shed their older needles as they become shaded out or less productive, i.e. they are no longer pulling their weight in terms of producing energy for the tree. It is a normal process that happens in the fall, and it seems like trees shed their needles like this more in one year than others - although I don't know if anyone has ever identified the reason. Most of the yellow needles will shed with the winter wind and rain. As long as the tips of the branches are green, then the tree will be fine. 

Was this page helpful?

Related Content from OSU Extension

Ask an Expert

Have a Question? Ask an Expert!

Ask an Expert is a way for you to get answers from the Oregon State University Extension Service. We have experts in family and health, community development, food and agriculture, coastal issues, forestry, programs for young people, and gardening.

Ask Us a Question