Winter Desiccation

A couple of evergreen questions with similar problems, even though the trees are different.  Forty 1-year old pines are turning yellowish on the south side of the trees in late April.  The south side does get more wind than the other side. The second tree is an arbovitae that is also turning brown.  What is happening?

What's happening is winter desiccation. A lot of different plants suffered winter desiccation, including evergreens, Arbovitae, holly, boxwood and white pine. The leaves lost water faster than they could replace it, so the leaves/needles started to turn brown and die back.  For now, just watch the plant and see what happens. If it sends out new growth, then prune out the dead branches back to living tissue.  If the plant is completely brown with no new growth, then you will need to remove it.  Next year, when winter air temperature is above 40 F degrees apply supplemental water to those susceptible plants to prevent further problems.


Winter desiccation of white spruce.