Evergreen Losing Needles
Though it is normal for evergreens to lose needles each year, it is easy to see when the shedding process is not proceeding normally. If more than one third of the interior needles have turned brown and dropped off, or if the young tender needles on the ends of the branches are dying, the chances are your tree is suffering from a disease or pest. Needle blight is the most common cause, but overwatering and root rot can cause the same symptoms.
Discoloration of Evergreen Needles
If the needles are brown, but have not fallen off, there still may be some chance for revival. Brown needles commonly appear during the winter from moisture loss and even sun scald. Buds are rarely affected and the plant will likely green up again in the spring, but a certified arborist should be consulted to check to pests or disease. White needles may be caused by scale, a fungus that can kill young trees and may damage older trees. Many tree care professionals offer tree spraying services especially for the common threats in your area.
Evergreen Tree Dying From Bottom Up
While many pests and diseases begin killing trees from the top to bottom, there are several reasons that an evergreen may be dying from the bottom-up. Many times, the bottom of an evergreen will start to die out simply from lack of sunlight – this is completely normal, and no reason to panic. Another less attractive possibility is the Diplodia tip blight, which manifests as dead branches scattered throughout the tree.
As you can see, there are many natural causes for unattractive needle shedding or discoloration, but for each benign causation there may be a few equally malevolent possibilities. The best bet is to always contact a certified arborist first, or call a reliable tree service professional to come and assess the tree in question.