Single-Flush Pine Needle Clean-up

Here’s a Shore Pine that needs a fall once-over. Fall is a prime time to adjust pines with wires and remove old pine needles at the same time.


The single flush pines push out a candle in the spring and that’s it for the year. By fall this Shore Pine was looking happy but shaggy. The silhouette and pads were losing detail. Many older wires were not yet biting in so I left them, and readjusted the branches. I added only two or three small wires.


Removal of the third-year needles takes off the yellowing ones by default, and the tree looks greener. Some shoots had gotten too long and were cut back to smaller, shorter side shoots. Two years of needles were left on this tree. I find thinly foliaged specimens do better with multiple years of needles, getting weaker if left with only one year’s needles. Very full, dense single flush pines often do fine with only one year of needles.

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  1. Ray says:

    Thanks Michael, beautiful shore pine

  2. Will you now greenhouse this pine since it’s less cold-tolerant with fewer needles? Thanks for your good work.

  3. MICHAEL says:

    Thanks for the tip on leaving more needles.

  4. David Wheeler says:

    thanx Michael……..I am always ‘confused’ w/ all the different principles on specific plants and the timing…… I have slowly realized there are “SSSOOO many different ways…..” depending on the situation. but I always love your inputs……

  5. Brian McGrath says:

    Hi Michael
    Fine tuning mature yew. Do you pull or cut needles from last year.
    Thanks, Brian

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