Seasonal Needle Loss

Image of seasonal needle loss on a white pine tree
Seasonal needle loss on a white pine tree

Need to know: 

  • Yellow or browning of conifers in the fall is normal for old needles. 

Seasonal Needle Loss 

It's normal for the oldest needles of most conifers to turn yellow or brown and fall in the autumn. Needles may drop in the spring if the preceding growing season was particularly stressful or the winter was severe.

See this article for more information about seasonal needle loss.

Image of seasonal needle loss on an arborvitae
Seasonal needle loss on an arborvitae

Type of Sample Needed for Diagnosis and Confirmation

The Iowa State University Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic can help you to investigate and confirm if your plant has a disease. Please see our website for current forms, fees, and instructions on collecting and packing samples. Contact information for each states diagnostic laboratory for U.S. residents.  If your sample is from outside of Iowa please do not submit it to the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic without contacting us 

Fungicide applications may be avoided by following good Integrated Pest Management practices like those listed in this encyclopedia article. Often, the only preventative application is effective to manage plant diseases. If the problem requires a fungicide, state law requires the user to read and follow all labels accordingly. For more information, read Proper fungicide use.








Last Reviewed: 
April, 2022

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