Desiccation or “winter burn” is mainly a problem with evergreens. Low soil moisture, freezing temperatures and blowing wind are some of the root causes of winter burn. Areas in the landscape that are exposed to generous amounts of sunlight are especially vulnerable. When the ground is frozen evergreens lose moisture faster than the root system can replace it.
Symptoms vary depending on the species of your evergreens, however, these may be some of the signs that you are noticing:
· Yellow or brownish color which starts at the tips of the branches and moves inward
· Damage on the sun-exposed side of the plants
While there is little that you can do to treat your burned plants, the majority of them will not be severely injured. Before you take action, wait to see if the damage is permanent. If there is permanent damage, follow these guidelines:
· Once the ground has thawed, make sure the plants get the proper amount of water. If mother nature has not provided 1” of water during a week – time for you to water!
· Wait for new growth to develop
· Prune any dead branches as needed
· Provide a light application of mulch to reduce the amount of water evaporating from the root zone
· Fertilizing in certain situations can be helpful as well
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, call Hoppe Tree Service! We can have one of our certified arborists come out help with these issues and assist you in your spring tree and pruning needs.