Fir tree has yellow needles on many limbs

Asked October 14, 2019, 3:24 PM EDT

Hello — Can you tell us what is causing the “yellow” needles on our fir tree? And what, if anything, can be done? Pics attached ... Dennis & Myra Hunt 3805 NW Shoreview Dr., Waldport, OR

Lincoln County Oregon drought diagnosis of plant problems trees seasonal needle drop

1 Response

Hi Dennis and Myra:
Thanks for your question about your Douglas-fir branches yellowing. Although alarming in appearance, most conifers are shedding some of their older needles this time of year. Looking over the symptoms in your pictures, it does look like this is the case with your tree.

As a precaution, I would recommend keeping an eye on it and note any changed conditions in the canopy, particularly in the late spring and early summer, such as: intensifying of yellowing, particularly of whole branches; overall "thinning" of canopy where branches lose all but the needles at branch tips; pitching or pitch streaming on the bole or trunk of the tree; and/or the presence of small round- or oval- shaped holes on the trunk. These additional symptoms could indicate that your tree is suffering from something more serious.

Please keep in touch! I am the Extension Forester for Lincoln County and I am here to help. You can reach me at any time to talk about this or any other tree-related issues you may have.

Thank you!