Autumn is a time to enjoy all the colors that our plants have to offer. Don't forget that it's also a time to continue watering those plants, especially the evergreens.
Evergreen trees, both broadleaf and needled, shed some of their older foliage in the fall, just like deciduous trees drop all of their leaves. Most pine trees lose 3-5 year old needles, but white pine (Pinus strobus) only retains its needles for one year. Arborvitaes also keep their leaves for only one year, but spruces and firs can keep their needles for as long as 5-7 years.
Broadleaf evergreens vary as well. Rhododendrons usually shed 1-2 year old leaves throughout the growing season, often during a dry spell. Hollies shed their one year old leaves in the spring. So, don't be alarmed when you see the inner needles on your pine tree or the lower leaves on your rhododendron turn orange, yellow or brown and then drop off. If you suspect secondary issues, please feel free to call or bring in a cutting for our knowledgeable staff to take a look at.
If the foliage is turning brown on the new growth from the past growing season, then that's the time to consider stepping up the watering a bit. Although other issues could be the cause, lack of water is usually the number one culprit. Your newly established plants still need to be watered during the fall. Evergreens that have been in your landscape for only 1-3 years should be included on this list, since adequate watering helps evergreens maintain and survive through harsh winter weather.
Deciduous plants that are newly established should also be watered well in the fall, as well as 1-3 year old deciduous shrubs and trees. Watering both evergreens and deciduous plants about twice per week (whether it rains or not) until the ground freezes sometime around December should do the trick.