Each year the conifers shed older needles which is, for the most part, unnoticed. Some years though the appearance of old, brown needles is a surprise to people and they think that the tree is dying.
This is what my conifers looked like about 2 weeks ago – the inner needles were showing brown and became very noticable on the tree. Fortunately I knew that this was a natural occurance, but the kids did not and thought I was somehow killing them! I must admit that the smallest one does concern me slightly because if we assume they were all planted together, then the stunted growth is a concern. As the ground is quite steep in that area and the sump pump tips out near there, I am wondering if it sits on a rock and slowly starving for nutrients. Unfortunately the tree, even thuogh it is small compared to its neighbors, is too big to move so unless things go downhill fast, it will stay there. Below is the tree this afternoon in the fall sunshine.