A few years ago, we lost a white pine tree. It seemed like one day it was fine and the next it was dead. Of course things seldom happen that way, and we really don't know what happened with this particular white pine. But we cut most of it down and used it as a directional and pedestal for a bird house in the garden.
After that, we watched our other pines more closely. In the fall, we noticed that they had yellowing of some of the needles, which then fell off. Of course, we feared the worst - that we were going to lose yet another pine tree or two.
It turns out that our fears were unfounded in this instance. It's perfectly normal for white pine trees to do this. In the fall, they shed older needles. Have you ever walked through the woods where pine trees grow? On the forest floor are plenty of needles that were shed from those pine trees, creating a nice mulch for winter.
Speaking of using pine needles for mulch, I use them around my azaleas, blueberries, hydrangeas, and lingonberries. Pine needles add acid to the soil as they break down and these plants like that. In fact, one year, I conducted an experiment with the hydrangeas to see if I could get them to bloom blue.
|Endless Summer® Hydrangea macrophylla 'Bailmer'|
As the summer progressed, subsequent blooms became more and more pink. Had I continued to add fresh pine needles all summer, I'm sure they would have continued to bloom with that bluish tint.
Besides helping to change the color of hydrangea blooms, you can use pine needles to mulch these acid-loving plants: