Over the past month, we’ve been seeing different symptoms in loblolly and longleaf stands in the county. In some tree branches, we see inside needles turning brown and shedding where other trees, outside needles are turning yellow/brown. In either case, multiple issues can be associated with each symptom. What I want to show here is some longleaf needles where the inside is turning brown and shedding.
UGA Extension Forester Dr. David Moorhead says this is usually caused by a few different things. The symptoms can be associated with either a foliage disease like needle cast or an natural shedding of the older growth of needles. What we are seeing now is a natural shed. In a dry year, the tree will have one flush of growth in the season. With multiple wet years, the trees have put on more flushes of growth each year. This is resulting in a higher shedding this year. This is nothing we are concerned about. Basically, we have a higher component of older needles.