White Pine Trees Are Dropping Lots Of Sticky Needles Twigs And Cones But They Seem Healthy

Question From: L. Jutres - Sunderland, Massachusetts, United States
Q: Our white pines trees (five very large ones) this year have been dropping thousands of small light brown twigs (like shredded coconut but brown) for at least six weeks. They are no longer than 1 inch long and very thin. It is still dropping them and they stick on everything and are brought into the house on the bottoms of shoes and on the cats. It has never been this bad but the trees look healthy. They also dropped thousands of pine cones this season. What are they?

A: Larry, White pines are notorious for dropping needles in fall. Excessive production of pine cones usually indicates trees are in stress. Bag worms produce small cone-like structures. Then there is white pine rust, winter damage, salt damage, needle cast disease and on and on. I am not a trained tree doctor so cannot diagnose your problem and your trees could have more than one. I recommend you get an onsite inspection of your trees from a certified arborist. To find a professional in your area go online at www.tcia.org or call 800-733-2622. Best Nancy and thanks for visiting gardener.com.