It is now mid-April, and I have received several calls about evergreen trees, such as hemlock, pine, cypress, and spruce, that have turned brown over the winter.

While there could be a few different reasons for this, the primary culprit in most of these cases has been winter freeze injury. Most of the trees I have seen are located adjacent to driveways and roadways, and the damage had been caused by temperature fluctuations this winter. When we had warmer days, followed by cold nights, plant cells were damaged, and caused the dieback of the foliage facing the asphalt.

Other causes for browning could be desiccation injury (caused by cold winds) or salt damage (due to excessive de-icing salts). These types of injury can be prevented if this is a regular occurrence at your property. Consult your arborist at Mayer Tree Service to learn more about this.

So what do I do? Some of the damaged trees may recover partially or fully; others may be beyond repair. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to prevent freeze injury. These trees that are now stressed due to this injury may benefit from bio-stimulant treatments and/or other remediation efforts. Before pruning out damaged sections, allow them to break bud- some of these trees may still have viable buds, which may replace some of the lost foliage.

If you have any other concerns about your landscape, we are here to help offer you with solutions. Contact us today for an appointment.

Jeff Bourque