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Brown Needles and Leaves on Evergreens

A walk through your garden this spring may reveal browning on both needled and broadleaf evergreen trees and shrubs.

Winter winds and sun, exposure to deicing salt and record low temperatures are likely the cause.  Evergreens continue to lose moisture through their leaves and needles throughout the winter. The winter sun and wind increase moisture loss.  Those gardening in areas with frozen soil are likely to see the most damage.

But even those in warmer regions may see winter scorch on newly planted or exposed evergreen plants.

We can’t turn the needles and leaves green, but we can provide proper care to speed recovery. If the branches are pliable and buds plump you should see new growth this spring. Broadleaf evergreens will replace the brown leaves with fresh new growth. Brown needles will eventually drop and the new growth this spring may mask the damage.

Wait for warmer weather to see what if any new growth appears.

A bit more information: Once plants have started to show signs of new growth, you have a decision to make. Is the plant healthy and attractive enough to nurture and keep? Or, would you be better off starting with a new plant and one better suited to the growing conditions. A difficult decision, but one that can save you time, money and frustration in the long run.

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