WSU Extension


Common Cultural Problems
Air pollution 
Construction damage 
Desiccating wind 
Drought damage 
Fertilizer burn 
Frost injury 
Hail damage 
Lime-induced chlorosis 
Marginal leaf necrosis 
Morphological changes 
Mosses and lichens 
Needle loss 
Needle tip necrosis 
Nutrient deficiency 
Overwatering or poor drainage 
Plant girdling and circling roots 
Poor pollination 
Salt damage 
Transplant shock 
Winter desiccation 
Winter injury 

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Caption: Pine natural needle drop
Photo by: R. Maleike
Common Cultural : Needle loss
(revision date: 4/30/2013)

Conifer trees periodically shed older needles. In the early fall following a dry summer, western red cedar often dramatically shed older needles; this is known as cedar flagging. Broadleaf evergreen plants also show periodic dropping (abscission) of older leaves. This is a natural biological process and not cause for concern in most instances.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
None recommended
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended


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Caption: Pine natural needle drop
Photo by: R. Maleike
Caption: Cedar flagging
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Cedar flagging close-up
Photo by: R.S. Byther