Tamarack did not drop needles

Asked January 1, 2020, 1:02 PM EST

I have a 25 foot tall tamarack tree, about 10 years old and very healthy. For some reason, it only dropped about 10% of its needles this fall. It normally drops them all. Is this normal that sometimes they don’t drop their needles? Thank you

Hennepin County Minnesota

5 Responses

Do you by any chance remember what kind of Tamarack this is.

Sorry, I don't. I didn't realize there were different species of Tamarack. Would close up photos of the needles and bark enable you to tell?

I am assuming the tree is the common Tamarack (Larix laricina), but some up close pictures of the needles would be helpful.

I think you're right, Larix laricina. But here's a picture of the needles.

I think the tree is going to be OK. It is a case of what is called "marcescence" which is a situation where a deciduous tree does not drop its leaves in the fall. Here are a couple of references:

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/why-leaves-did-not-fall-off-tree.htm https://www.arboretum.harvard.edu/leaves-dont-leave/

I will be seeing Gary Johnson (Professor in the Department of Forest Resources at the University of Minnesota0 this week-end and will get back to you if he thinks it might be something different.