The Richmond Register

November 5, 2013

Tree needles drop in the fall, too

By Amanda Sears
Extension Agent

RICHMOND — Deciduous tree leaves turn color in the fall and drop, but did you know that the needles on evergreens do also?

Although most conifer (cone bearing) trees are considered to be “evergreen,” their needles do not live forever.

They are considered evergreen because their leaves (needles) stay on the tree for more than one year before falling. New needles appear before the old ones change color and drop, so the tree is not bare.

Older needles on the inside of evergreen trees are shed each fall after they turn yellow, brown or reddish-tan in color. Some years, the colors are very subtle, but in years when the tree has experienced stressful conditions, the color may be more pronounced.

Pine trees can hold their needles for two to five years, depending on the species, while spruce drop only every five to seven years. The eastern white pine, which is very common in our area, drops its needles every two years.

So if you are seeing quite a bit of brownish coloration on your pine tree, it may just be the natural needle drop occurring. However, needle drop should be occurring only on the inner needles and not entire branches. If you see damage occurring on that level, check the branch for a canker or sore spot that may be effecting the growth.

Natural holiday centerpiece class Dec. 17

On Dec. 17, from 1 to 3 p.m., Madison County Extension Office will offer a natural holiday centerpiece class.

The average consumer will spend $50 on holiday decorations this month. Learn how to stretch your holiday dollar by creating your own centerpiece made from live greenery from your back yard or farm.

Plan to bring your own basket, bowl or plate to put your centerpiece on. Other needed materials will be provided for the registration fee of $10 per person.

You must pre-register and pay to be a part of this class. The class is limited to 30 people.

Come to the Madison County Extension Office, 230 Duncannon Lane, Richmond, to pay for your registration soon, before the class fills!

Educational programs of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.