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Pine Trees and Global Warming Evidence?

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posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 09:47 PM
Have your pine trees been losing their needles?

Well, I had a co-worker ask me that question today. He has a whole strand of pines, and says they are dropping way more needles than normal, and asked me what I thought. I asked if they looked sickly, like they were dying. He said no, they were green, healthy looking, but have been dropping needles like crazy.

I immediately thought about global warming, and his trees were a symptom. We had a lengthy conversation, and both decided it's nothing to worry about, probably just a cyclic sort of thing.

I did mention the Artic ice sheet melting at a faster rate than normal, and last year's mild winter, and the trees were probably just shedding extra growth.

When I got home from work I did a bit of research on pine needles falling prematurely:

I found this story from 2010, Pine trees losing needles still a mystery, but that was two years ago. Hmm.


An informative, but brief article, My Pine Tree is Losing its Needles, but that just describes the normal growth cycle.

Most of the articles I found were about needles turning brown, and dropping, but that is not the case in this scenario. His trees are healthy, fully green, just shedding what to him is an alarming amount of needles. More than any other year, he said.

When a pine tree starts losing needles, it is in serious stress. The stress can have environmental causes or may be the result of disease. In any case, the tree is conserving resources by dropping needles. Photosynthesis may slow, preventing new growth.

We all know that trees (anything utilizing photsynthesis, actually) convert carbon dioxide back into oxygen. We as a species pump plenty of pollution into the atmosphere. Is there a point when the trees show us their symptoms, and tell us the conditions around them are unhealthy? Of course.

The real question is whether this is a normal cycle, or is this pointing toward runaway global warming. I hope the former to be true.

Have your pine trees been losing their needles? Thoughts?

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 10:13 PM
in Northern Arizona, there was a Bark Beetle infestation due to several warm winter months. these beetles killed many ponderosa pines. not the same thing as to what the OP is referring to, but a pine issue caused (seemingly) but unnatural warm temperatures non-the-less.

the hemlocks of the east are being destroyed as well. it is said to see most of the hemlocks rotting corpses here in appalachia.

what horrors shall the world endure next?

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 10:20 PM
reply to post by mythos

The cold winters usually kill off a large percentage of pests, but mild winters allow more to hatch. That in turn, allows them to feast on vegetation with their voracious appetites.

Mankind's solution would be to utilize more pesticides. Not good.

Thanks for reporting in.

posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:55 PM
reply to post by Druid42

Ah, you are one to think mankind is more harsh than nature its self.

Volcanic activity is your huckleberry.

Kill Mankind, save a Tree. But what ever will you do to the Mountain?

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 12:05 AM
I recall a few years back we had a massive pine loss here in the NE. I think it was attributed to a fungus?? In the past five years or so, they seemed to be making a comeback. In fact I planted many evergreen sprouts and all seem well. One that I planted about 15 years ago, has been extremely healthy, and has grown to about 25 feet. But I noticed just the other day, that to about half way up the trunk, the interior needles are browning heavily, and it's migrating outwards from the center along the branches.

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 12:12 AM
In Texas, ours did that last year because of the drought. Many still stayed green.

Stress for sure causes it though. Maybe they are stressed about the apocalypse being right around the corner

But really though, it can't just be attributed to bugs or fungus if it is a widespread issue. I don't quite believe in global warming per se, but maybe the whole poles shifting thing is real and the trees are feeling it...?
edit on 9-11-2012 by fictitious because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 12:37 AM
We have a lot of hemlock spruce, white pine, red pine and jack pine. I only notice needles on the ground in winter time, but that is because of the snow.

Here's some safety tips: In the winter the fallen needles melt the the snow on the roads and then the tree's shadow shades it, causing it to ice up. Don't camp under large pines, esp. white pines, because the branches are heavy and brittle and in the winter, the snow makes it worse. Campfires made from pine are sooty and no good to cook on.

Other stuff about pines: The needles kill off many plants that would grow under them and the pine mulch grows a lot of fungus. The white pines drop many needles in the fall. The hemlock branches make a good roof for shelter and their roots make really good cords of various thicknesses.

Anyway, I'll be paying more attention now. Thanks for the post.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 01:52 PM
reply to post by Druid42

Here in New Mexico we are suffer the same bark beetle infestation. We've lost at least 30 trees on our little seven acres.

Two years ago we recorded the coldest night since we've been here (17 years) - 40 degrees F. Hasn't seem to affect the bark beetle at all.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 01:58 PM
My pines are looking good. The pines on my uncle's property drops a lot of needles every year, way more than mine. Maybe they are not the same species or something. I do his landscaping as he is getting too old to be down on his knees, that is how I know

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 04:22 PM
Thanks for all the responses. It appears to be a localized event, which is good, and not a widespread occurrence.

I'll tell my co-worker on Monday what I've learned so far, and have him bring in a sample of his needles.

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