Why pine needles turn yellow

Why pine needles turn yellow

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Today, many summer residents and owners of country houses are ennobling their possessions by planting evergreen coniferous plantings, in particular, pine trees. An ephedra along the perimeter of the cottage or along the path leading to the house is very beautiful. But there are times when the rich green color fades, and yellowness begins to appear. And it is at this moment that most landlords begin to worry about why the pine tree turns yellow. There are many reasons leading to this phenomenon: it can be a natural process of renewal of needles or a serious disease of the tree.

Natural Causes of Yellowing

The main reason that pine needles turn yellow is natural renewal. And if the yellowing of coniferous needles was noticed in the autumn, there is no need to fear for the health of the pine. Indeed, it is at this time of the year that the annual biological process takes place to change the coniferous needles.

Attention! It is quite simple to check the naturalness of the process of yellowing of pine needles: in the biological process, the young branches of the tree themselves should have a familiar green color.

The needles may turn yellow due to transplanting the pine to a new location. This yellowing process is also natural, as the tree is going through a period of adaptation to new conditions. It is at this time that the pine begins to give young shoots, replacing the old ones.

Not all pine needles turn yellow during the natural process, mainly up to 50% of the crown undergoes renewal, while young shoots and ends of branches should remain green. First of all, the needles on the lower branches of the pine near the trunk begin to turn yellow and renew themselves. Then, over time, it falls off. The lower branches freed from the coniferous cover must be cut off. So, the pine will begin to develop more actively, which will contribute to the rapid emergence of new shoots.

In addition to the biological process of changing shoots, the needles turn yellow for the following reasons:

  • unfavorable climatic conditions;
  • exposure to animals and insects;
  • vital activity of microorganisms.

Therefore, if you want to plant a pine tree in your summer cottage, a person must understand that the plant may end up in an environment unusual for him. Thus, proper and healthy pine growth is directly dependent on proper care.

Unfavorable climatic conditions

If the needles begin to turn yellow in the summer, then you should be on your guard. The most likely reason for the appearance of yellowness is unfavorable climatic conditions associated with hot and dry weather. In this case, the pine does not have enough moisture to feed the upper branches and needles, which leads to their drying out. The heat is especially bad for young, recently transplanted pine seedlings. Since after the transplanting process, the root system is practically not adapted to the new soil, the roots are not able to fully absorb all the nutrients, and the lack of moisture aggravates the process, which leads to drying out. Mature, rooted trees are considered more resistant to drought.

Heavy rainfall also has a detrimental effect on the condition of the pine tree and its crown. Moisture oversaturation can lead to pine disease and subsequent yellowing of coniferous shoots.

Polluted air has a direct impact on the growth of coniferous needles and their frequent renewal. It will be uncomfortable for pine to grow near large highways, as well as near industrial enterprises.

Incorrect fit

The correct planting plays an important role in the good and healthy growth of the pine, as well as in the formation of a beautiful crown. Having decided to plant a pine tree on your site, you need to pay special attention to the choice of a seedling. The color of the needles of a young tree should be bright green without any yellowing. The roots of the seedling should be branched, "live" in appearance and not damaged.

After purchasing a seedling, you need to choose the right place for planting it. It must be open. When planting several trees, a distance of up to 5-6 m should be maintained between them, since an adult pine can have a crown girth of up to 5 m.

During planting, requirements are also imposed on the composition of the soil, it must be loose and sandy.

The root collar should not protrude above the ground during planting. The roots of the tree must be placed deep underground. And to prevent the soil from drying out, mulching should be performed, this will also contribute to the slow growth of weeds.

If the pine was planted correctly, then its crown should not turn yellow. And if, nevertheless, the needles began to turn yellow, and this process began to occur from below, without affecting the young shoots at the end of the branches, then, most likely, the tree will adapt to new conditions.

Improper care

Another reason that the pine needles turn yellow is the improper care of it.

As a rule, pine does not like excessive moisture, but it also does not tolerate drought well. Young trees, just transplanted to the site, require watering at least once a week. In this case, up to 30 liters of water should be poured under the tree. In subsequent years, it is necessary to water the pine 2-3 times during the summer, depending on the precipitation. You need to water it with warm water, up to 90 liters under a tree.

Attention! Pine should be watered taking into account precipitation. If it rains frequently, then watering must be reduced, otherwise it will lead to waterlogging.

Top dressing also affects the color of the crown. For the correct bright green color, pine needs phosphorus and iron. If the needles began to turn yellow, this indicates a lack of these particular trace elements.

In the absence of proper care, excessive or rare watering, as well as without additional feeding, the transplanted tree can not only begin to turn yellow, but also die.


If it was noticed that the pine needles began to turn unnaturally yellow, then this may indicate that the tree has been damaged by beetles. Bark beetles or bark beetles are the most common pests of conifers.

If the pine is susceptible to damage to these beetles, the following symptoms also appear:

  • resinous streaks on the trunk and branches;
  • the appearance on the trunk or the soil near it of small light brown sawdust, the so-called drill meal.

The presence of bark beetles and pine beetles, as well as their untimely extermination, will lead to the subsequent death of the pine.


If it was noticed that the tree began not only to turn yellow, but also to acquire a bright red hue, which has a gray coating after the snow melted, then this indicates a disease caused by a fungus.

The fungal disease of conifers is called shute. Most often, such a disease affects young plantations, but it is also dangerous for an adult plant.

The main symptom of the disease is the rapid death and yellowing of the needles after winter. Needles often turn orange with a rusty tint within a week. Adult plants begin to respond to the development of the disease one month after the snow cover disappears. Usually, the lower branches are susceptible to death in mature pine.

The needles that have been infected with fungus and turn yellow also have a reddish tint with black spots and lines. And they do not fall off for a long time.

Also, red dry needles can symbolize the defeat of Fusarium. This fungal disease interferes with the passage of nutrients from the roots to the branches and coniferous needles, which can lead to complete yellowing and drying of the crown.

Preventive actions

To avoid the onset of unnatural yellowing of the needles, it is recommended to fulfill the following requirements for planting seedlings and properly care for the pine:

  1. When planting a seedling on a site, the roots must be well deepened. Also, it is not allowed to leave the root collar of the plant above the ground.
  2. After planting, the tree must be regularly watered and fed, in order to avoid withering, and also so that the needles do not turn yellow.
  3. If the needles began to turn yellow after the appearance of pests, then you should definitely call a specialist who will help you properly process the tree. You can also process pine yourself using a solution of karbofos.
  4. Early detection of a fungal disease will save the tree in time. The plant must be carefully examined to notice why the needles began to turn yellow. To avoid this kind of disease, it is necessary to remove weeds in a timely manner and remove fallen needles, as well as dry branches. A fungicide can be used to prevent fungal diseases.


There are many reasons why the pine turns yellow. Some of them are natural, while others are caused by the vital activity of living organisms. But with proper care and periodic inspection of the tree, it is possible to identify in time the reason why the pine needles began to turn yellow and eliminate it in a timely manner. And then a healthy, lush and evergreen beauty will delight you with her wonderful appearance and aroma for not a single year.

Watch the video: Pine Trees with Yellowing Needles (February 2023).

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