The correlation between structural properties of ZnO sharp conical needles grown by Metallorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) on sapphire substrate and their optical signature measured by low temperature cathodoluminescence (CL) is investigated. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) shows the excellent structural properties of these needles from their base up to the end of the tip. In order to probe the emission of the needles along their length, UV CL mapping has been performed at low temperature on a single needle previously characterized by TEM. A clear blue shift of 25meV is observed for the excitonic emission close to the needle tip. This shift is too high to be fully attributed to quantum confinement. Although, it qualitatively agrees with previous observations which assigned it to a surface contribution becoming dominant upon size shrinking, the effect is less pronounced. The results are discussed in term of surface quality and other possible contributions associated to a decrease of the n-dopant concentration and to quantum confinement effect close to the tip.