Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

why is my evergreen turning brown

Why isn’t my evergreen green?

You might have noticed the evergreens around Fort Collins are looking a little… brown. If you’re wondering why that is, and why your evergreens don’t seem to be doing well this spring, here’s what you can do about it.

There are a couple factors as to why your trees needles have taken on a brownish-red hue:

  • Winter drying: Evergreens naturally transpire through their needles in the winter. When warm, dry winds blow through your yard, the tree’s roots can’t replenish the needle’s moisture because the root system is frozen. The wind dries the needles and causes discoloration, most often on the side of the tree that faces prevailing winds—usually the west side in Fort Collins.
  • Drastic temperature changes last November: Fort Collins saw an unusual drop of more than 50 degrees in a single day. The weather was relatively mild leading up to the drop, and the trees were just starting their winter hardening process.

Generally, winter drying causes only minor damage. Your trees may lose some needles, but they usually recover. On the other hand, some trees may suffer more severe damage: branch tips or entire branches may die. Pruning dead branches may be necessary to make the tree safe. Remember, pruning is best left to the professionals, because of unexpected dangers and the possibility of inadvertent damage to the tree.

The best way to lessen the effects of winter drying is with preventative measures and best practices of tree care:

  • Water young trees in the fall and winter when the ground is not frozen.
  • Mulch around trees to protect against deep freezing.

If you want your evergreens to be healthy all year round, give us a call at Detailed Landscape and we’ll make sure any winter drying damage is taken care of appropriately and your trees are ready for the warm weather.