Brown, dead needles and brittle twigs and buds are all possible indicators of a desiccated or dehydrated evergreen. While deciduous trees lose their leaves in the winter, evergreens retain foliage and protect themselves from winter water loss with a variety of natural protection mechanisms. Even with these protections, a warm sunny day during the dormant period can deceive the evergreen and valuable moisture evaporates from the plant. Soil moisture is typically lacking or unavailable during the winter, putting undue stress on the evergreen’s plant root system. In addition, evergreens in areas exposed to extreme weather conditions or salt spray from nearby roads are especially susceptible to desiccation. Symptoms of desiccation don’t necessarily appear immediately. Damage may not become apparent until the next growing season. If not treated, these symptoms will cause the overall decline in appearance and health of the evergreen. The evergreen may not recover from the damage done during the winter.
One method of preventing this water loss is applying an anti-transpirant spray in late Fall, typically in November. Kramer Tree Specialists uses an anti-transpirant that forms a barrier over the needles or foliage and minimizes water loss during the winter months. Cedar, Spruce, Arborvitae, Juniper, Boxwood and Pine trees are just a few examples of evergreen varieties that can benefit from an anti-transpirant spray. Annual treatments are recommended for optimal protection.
Contact the Plant Health Care Department at KTS to have your evergreens evaluated by a Certified Arborist. Our trained specialists can recommend the appropriate treatment options to keep your evergreens and landscape happy and healthy.