Why is my Evergreen Tree Turning Brown in the Winter?
Evergreen or Conifer trees (cone bearing trees) are the beautiful towering trees that stay green all year round and make up the vast majority of our beautiful British Columbia landscape. So it may come as a shock and cause concern when you notice for the first time that your evergreen tree is turning brown, especially during winter.
Here are the 3 most common causes of browning in the canopy of your conifer tree during winter and how to deal with it.
1. Dehydration: Water Needs are not being met
During the winter when the earth below your tree has become frozen, your coniferous tree will rely on water stored in its needles or scale-like foliage. Because there is a limited supply of water stored here, if a cold snap lasts particularly long than the tree may use up its water stores quickly which can result in branches that are drying out and turning brown.
2. Freeze damage
If your tree is dropping needles or turning brown or yellow around the entire tree, there’s a chance the recent cold snap (such as recently here in North Vancouver) caused such a shock to the tree that it has entered a state of stress and decline. When trees are subject to such a sudden drop in temperature, they may not have time to undergo the physiological processes that enable them to tolerate the cold.
It is advised that you wait until after the winter and dormant season come to an end to see what happens with the tree before considering pruning or tree removal from your local tree service. It is possible that buds have already formed on the tree prior to the freezing and they of course will not grow if they are cut off before having a chance to.
3. Pests and Disease
Like most trees, evergreen trees have their own common pests and diseases they are susceptible to such as pine beetle, cytospora canker disease.
Call a reputable tree service or ISA certified arborist to have them assess your tree and formulate a plan of action.
As we all know, winters is Vancouver and North Vancouver means lots and lots of road salt. If your tree is near a road, driveway or sidewalk that is being salted continuously, than it may be suffering from salt-induced browning do to the high salinity.
Plant trees at least 10 feet away from sidewalks, driveways or roads that are likely to be salted during the winter. If your tree is already in a poor location, create a barrier around the tree during the periods of regular salting.
Call ArborGreen Tree Care Specialists today for a free estimate or consultation. We are a local tree service based out of North Vancouver serving Squamish, Lions Bay, Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby and Vancouver.