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Winter Dessication of Evergreens
This article was published originally on 3/11/2009
The Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic has recently received specimens of pine, spruce, fir, yew and other evergreens. Symptoms on plant specimens vary from yellowing or browning of needle tips to complete yellowing or browning of needles. On concolor fir, one-third to one-half of each needle has turned brown (Fig. 1). Clients describe the problem as appearing on one branch, a few branches, or one side of the evergreen (usually the side facing prevailing winds). The damage is attributed to winter desiccation (also called winter burn, winter drying, or winter scorch). During the winter months, the roots of evergreens are not able to absorb water from the frozen soil. However, evergreen needles continue to lose moisture throughout the winter. Considerable water loss can occur on windy or sunny winter days. Damage occurs when the needles lose excessive amounts of moisture. Poorly developed root systems, girdling roots, root injury, soil compaction, and heavy clay soils are some factors than can predispose evergreen trees to winter injury.
Year of Publication:
IC-500( 3) -- March 11, 2009