Understanding Evergreen Winter Browning: Unveiling the Culprits

Young pine with yellowed needles from the disease

As winter wraps its icy embrace around our landscapes, our evergreen companions may show signs of distress. The browning of evergreens during these colder months can be attributed to various factors. While a picturesque winter scene is lovely, it can pose challenges for our beloved trees.

“My evergreens are browning—why?”

Evergreens can don a coat of brown for reasons beyond just the chill in the air. Cold damage, winter burn, salt damage, and animal-induced harm are among the common villains that can affect the health of our green companions.

Cold Damage and Winter Burn: When snowfall is sparse, and chilly winds prevail, evergreens can suffer from cold damage. Lack of insulation due to insufficient snow cover, coupled with harsh winds, can lead to winter burn—a condition where foliage dries out, resulting in that unwanted brown hue.

Salt Damage and Root Issues: In urban settings, salt used for de-icing roads can wreak havoc on evergreens. Salt damage not only affects foliage but can also harm roots, leading to browning at the top of the plant. Additionally, inconsistent winter conditions may expose evergreens to root rot, further contributing to the browning effect.

Animal Mischief: Rabbits and deer, appreciators of our leafy friends, can inadvertently cause harm. Their nibbling on yews, hemlocks, and arborvitaes can disrupt the nutrient flow, leaving behind a telltale sign—browning branches.

Taking Action: Protecting Your Evergreens
Can a Brown Evergreen Come Back? Fear not! There are steps you can take to shield your trees from these winter woes. Consider applying anti-desiccant sprays to create a protective barrier against drying winds. Burlap wraps can be a stylish and effective defense against animal invaders.

Connect with Us: Your Tree Care Partners
At Tree Health Management, we’re here to guide you through the winter challenges your trees may face. Take a proactive stance in caring for your evergreens. Schedule a winter inspection with us, and let’s ensure your trees thrive even in the coldest months.

Discover more tips and services by following us on Facebook and Instagram. Reach out to us at (608) 223-9120 or contact us to schedule your winter tree care services.

Wishing you and your trees a healthy and vibrant winter season!

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Call 608-223-9120 to have one of our certified arborists evaluate your property.