Needle drop occurs each fall, around the time the leaves change color. This is a natural process and there is nothing to worry about. Most evergreen trees shed in the fall. Some drop in spring, some drop slowly over time and, some such as Arborvitaes and White Pine will drop quickly, over a few short weeks each fall.
Arborvitaes are common evergreens with scale-like needles on flattened branchlets. The interior needles on these trees change color from green to a golden orange/yellow. They shed their three-year inner needles and hang on to two years of growth. They will put on new growth each spring and will repeat the shedding process each fall to complete this natural cycle.
You might be wondering if the amount that your tree is shedding is normal. If the new needles that grow in place of the old are green, there isn’t cause to think your tree is sick or dying.
The shedding of these needles, on Arborvitaes, in the autumn is a natural way for your tree to prepare for the coming winter. This process is one of the ways your tree is working to survive and thrive in its environment.
Trees are beautiful and enduring plants when they are taken care of, but most of the time they can protect themselves fairly well without our help. Like a lot of other situations, if you’re worried about your trees or evergreens this season, just keep an eye on them. Plants preparing for the change of season is not uncommon, and knowing about and looking for possible abnormalities in your trees is important in keeping them healthy.