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Needles Falling Off
After a bad winter

Q: I have two trees at opposite ends of the yard, they have been perfect for the last 5 years, this year we had a lot of snow, now that it is gone the trees are turning red\brown and the needles are falling off.

The areas affected on both trees face the morning sun. Any idea what it is and how to save them? Thanks in advance Joe.

A: It sounds like you have some "winter-burn".

Sun and wind can dry out the needles, especially on the sunny and windward side of the plants (obviously), and they'll later turn brown or red and fall of.

The thing to do now is nothing except wait for new growth this spring, and then determine if there's enough new growth to cover up the effected areas. If the soil is dry, apply about 1 gallon of water for every square foot of surface area over the roots once a week.

In the future, I would advise applying an anti-transpirant in fall to help the plants through the winter. This type of product reduces the amount of moisture lost via the needles, which will reduce your winter-burn.

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Tom Mugridge

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