Every year, at this time, I get a lot of questions regarding dead and dying foliage in evergreens. There is dead and dying foliage, but it is a completely normal and natural occurrence in the fall as evergreens shed last year’s growth from the interior of the plant.
The end of the branch, the growing tip, should be green and budded and is the sign of a healthy plant. Some folks are concerned that there is more dead foliage this year than last and that is simply due to the fact that the plant has grown and there is more to see. The larger the evergreen, the more you will notice the shedding foliage. This is especially true when it comes to pine trees.
The interior yellowing of broad leaf evergreens such as rhododendrons and azaleas are especially noticeable this year due to the fact that it was such a sudden transition, an after-effect of the long summer drought. Remember to leave the leaves (and needles!) whenever possible!