Pine Tree – Clusters of Needles Falling Off

Q: I have short 6 to 8 inch pieces of my pine tree falling off. The ends look like they have been chewed through. I have over 24 of these section laying under the tree. The tree is large with a base of over 24 inches. What is happening ?

A: I crowd-sourced your question to my Georgia Gardener Facebook fan page:     Post by Georgia Gardener.

Several folks said they had seen the same thing. Marcus M., though, made an interesting observation that this need fall coincides with squirrels frantically eating pine seeds in preparation for winter.

My neighbor has the clusters you have PLUS lots of gnawed pine cones nearby.

I think squirrels are tearing off pine cones to get at the seeds and in the process are breaking clusters of needles which then fall to the ground.

pine needle cluster 1

pine needle cluster 3

pine needle cluster 2