Pine Trees Dropping Green Needles

Question From: M. Ward - ALABAMA
Q: Dear Nancy, We have a single 40-50 yo pine tree beside our driveway. It was about 20 feet tall when we moved to our house in 1977, now is probably 3x that. There is no other tree or vegetation touching it except for fallen pine straw at its base. My dog does like to urinate in the straw but not on the tree itself. The lower limbs have been removed over the years, so that the spreading begins about half way up -- too high for me to examine the branches up close. There have been plenty of pine cones this year. When the needles began to fall a few weeks ago, I recall that they were ordinary and brown, but in the past 2-3 weeks at least half the needles have been green -- healthy-looking and green -- the other half the usual brown. They are all about 6" long and grow in groups of three needles. The tree still looks good. I have left most of the needles in the driveway and on the lawn while we investigate this, but I could not find another nearby yard with green pinestraw, or any good information about this phenomenon on Google. What do you think? I never recall this happening before in the 35 years we have lived here!


I suggest you have your tree inspected by a trained tree doctor, a certified arborist. If drought was a problem in your area this summer it could be reacting to lack of water. Do give it a good soaking now. But trees in stress are also vulnerable to other problems and these trees need all the help they can get. The dog peeing is not an issue. Happy Yardening, Nancy