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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Evergreen trees and shrubs > Larch / Tamarack > Needles yellow to brown

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Larch / Tamarack > Needles yellow to brown

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  • Image: Fall needle drop 1
  • Image: Fall needle drop 2
  • Image: Fall needle drop 3

Fall needle drop

  • Deciduous needles turn yellow and fall off in autumn
  • Not insect or disease related, normal for larch trees
  • New needles emerge in spring
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  • Image: Larch casebearer 1
  • Image: Larch casebearer 2
  • Image: Larch casebearer 3

Larch casebearer
Coleophora laricella

  • Larvae construct a cigar-shaped case that is suspended from branch buds appearing like dead needles
  • Browned or parched appearance of the needles from larvae feeding or mining leaf contents
  • Needles of heavily infested trees wither and die
  • All Minnesota Larch species are susceptible
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  • Image: Larch needle cast 1
  • Image: Larch needle cast 2
  • Image: Larch needle cast 3

Larch needle cast
Meria laricis

  • First see yellow spots or bands on needles that turn reddish brown
  • Next entire needles turn yellow than reddish brown and fall off
  • Disease appears suddenly in wet spring weather
  • Not serious in mature trees but can kill seedlings
  • Currently found in WI, status in MN unknown
  • More information on Larch needle cast...
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  • Image: Larch needle blight 1
  • Image: Larch needle blight 2
  • Image: Larch needle blight 3

Larch needle blight
Hypodermella laricis

  • Young needles turn reddish brown and wilt
  • Brown to gray killed needles remain attached to tree for 1-3 years
  • Upon close examination, small black ovals can be seen on dead needles
  • Occurs in wet spring weather
  • More information on Larch needle blight...

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