The Q&A Archives: Yellow needles in Compact Tanyosho Pine

Question: I planted a compact Tanyosho pine a couple of weeks ago in the Japanese garden that I am building on my rooftop (in Lexington, MA). When I bought it, the Tanyosho had beautifull green needles, but now, most of the needles are turning yellow, and they are falling off. The needles at the end of the branches are still green, but the ones inside are all yellow. I don't know what can be causing this problem. Could you gave me any tips on what might be happening, please? I'll also appreciate advice on caring instructions for this tree.
Thank you very much,


Answer: Pines undergo a natural seasonal needle drop where the oldest needs turn yellow and fall off each year in the autumn. So, as long as the newest needles at the tips of the branches are still green, I think what you are seeing is probably normal. Since it is new, you might want to consult with your retailer as well. They might appreciate a photo of the overall plant so they can see the pattern of the discoloration.

This tree will need some special protection during the winter because it is in a container. You will need to insulate the roots as much as you can, such as by heaping mulch over and around the container (do not let it touch the bark however). Make sure the soil is slightly damp any time it is not frozen. If the rooftop is windy, you may also want to provide a windbreak especially during the winter months. Do not fertilize it until spring.

Good luck with your pine!

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