As the name suggests, evergreen trees are green throughout the year. In fact, their year-round green foliage is just one of the reasons evergreen trees make a great addition to many yards. But what do you do when your evergreen tree starts dying or begins to turn brown? Mr. Tree is at your service. We’ll help you figure out why your tree’s health has begun to fail by identifying common problems, and we’ll give you some pointers to spruce it back up.
Getting to the Root of the Matter
The first thing you’ll want to do is try to determine the cause of your evergreen tree’s declining health. There are a number of diseases, pests, and environmental factors that could be causing your tree to turn brown.
This guide is a good place to start to determine the root cause of the problem. It also has preventative steps you can take in order to be proactive about protecting your tree’s health. After all, you don’t want to spend all that time and energy getting your tree healthy just to have the problem reoccur. So it’s best to familiarize yourself with some of the potential causes of an evergreen’s poor health and do everything you can to keep it healthy in the future.
Let’s go over some of the main reasons a tree’s health could begin to fail and what you can do to save a dying evergreen tree.
Environmental stressors could be the reason your tree’s health has begun to decline. Specifically, drought and winter injury are two primary environmental factors to consider. There is no cure for either of these types of environmental damage, but there are steps you can take to try to improve your tree’s health.
The first thing you’ll want to do is prune back all the affected areas. If the tree has suffered from drought, give it one deep watering per week and mulch the root spread area. If the tree has suffered from winter injury, you’ll also want to give it a weekly deep watering, and one last deep watering in late fall before the ground freezes.
Evergreen trees are susceptible to a wide range of fungal diseases. Needlecast and rust disease are a couple of the more common ones. If you observe browning, dieback, and extreme loss of needles, there’s a chance that your tree is suffering from needlecast.
Rust disease gets its name from the rusty color that develops on the infected tree’s foliage and branches. If you notice an orange or rusty brown spread on the tree, there’s a good chance it has rust disease.
To treat a tree with either of these conditions, you’ll want to once again prune away the infected area. Remove any fallen foliage and branches surrounding the tree and destroy the debris (so as not to spread the disease). Once you’ve removed all signs of the diseased tree, you’ll want to apply a fungicide. Finally, give the tree a weekly deep watering to help restore its health.
Just as with fungal diseases, there are many predatory insects that attack and infest evergreen trees. Take a look at this identification guide for the common culprits. If your evergreen tree is under attack from one of these pesky pests, you’ll want to launch a counterattack. You can typically do that by applying a particular insecticide to your tree. In many cases, it will be necessary to apply a combination of treatments. If you’re unsure exactly which insect has infested your evergreen tree, contact an arborist to help you identify the best possible response.
Keeping Animals at Bay
If animals are foraging your evergreen tree, they could be damaging it in the process. Voles, mice, rabbits, and deer could all be grazing from your tree and causing harm to it. If you suspect that’s the case, be sure to remove any habitat where animals could nest. Trim your grass and remove foliage from your lawn. Eliminating areas of habitat will make animals less likely to take up residence in your yard and less likely to eat from your tree.
You should also consider erecting physical barriers to keep animals away. Cylinders of mesh hardware cloth, for instance, can be placed around the trunk of the tree and kept there year-round. Another option is using a repellant on your tree to deter animals from grazing.
In many cases, the best thing you can do is contact a skilled arborist to save your dying evergreen tree. After all, pruning of the infected areas will likely be required, and it’s easy to damage even a healthy tree by over-pruning it. But before things get to that point, there are preventative measures you can take to make sure your tree maintains its health.
For instance, contact your arborist before your tree’s health begins to decline. Being proactive in caring for your tree by scheduling preventative maintenance appointments will often help you catch potential problems before they arise. As a general rule of thumb, evergreen trees should be pruned every few years, and soil nutrients should be added every one to three years. Evergreen trees prefer acidic soil, so you should add aluminum sulfate to the soil when levels get too low.
If you’ve tried your best to save your dying evergreen tree, but it’s still not sprucing back up, then it’s time to call in the experts. They can help determine if your tree is salvageable or not. If your evergreen has, in fact, turned everbrown, they can help you remove it. Just check out Mr. Tree’s website to fill out a form for a free quote. With a little help from our skilled arborists, your landscaping will look green and lush again, and your neighbors will be green with envy!