Donegan's Tree Service - Leesburg, Loudoun Country, Marshall, and The Plains, Virginia
ISA Certified Arborist, Tree Care, Landscaping, Pest Management


Advice for tree owners everywhere

Winter Burn: Are Your Evergreen Trees Suffering this Spring?


As you are taking advantage of being outside this spring, you may notice that there is some brown on your Evergreens, Holly, Junipers, Boxwoods and Yews. We experienced some drastic drops in temperature last December and early January — including dips into the teens, which stayed around for 8-10 days. Then you add in a south/southwest wind and these issues combined to cause many Evergreen trees to lose moisture in their foliage. This can cause trees to start turning brown and die back, because Evergreens lose moisture through transpiration faster than their roots can replace it from the frozen ground. This impact from the elements can lead to Winter Burn. 

To help prevent Winter Burn on your Evergreen and other trees in the future, I have a few suggestions. If we lead into winter with a really dry fall season, water your trees only once or twice a week up until ground freezes.  After that, put down 3” of shredded leaf mulch for the winter months and then remove the leaf mulch in the spring. By doing this, it’s like you are putting a quilt over your tree’s roots to keep them warm until the weather (and the ground) heats up. You can also utilize Wilt Proof for Evergreens, which provides a wax like coating on the foliage to help it retain moisture. This can be purchased at most nurserys and isn’t harmful to children or pets.

If you’ve noticed that this happened to your trees, I’d recommend trimming off any brown tips. If the browning is more extensive than just tips, unfortunately the plant may not recover. If you’re not sure whether the plant is dead, you can give it some more time to grow.

Concerned that there has been damage to your Evergreens and prefer to have it professionally inspected? Visit our website and make a request for a Free Evaluation. If you haven’t inspected the trees on your property in the last two years then it’s definitely time. With all the crazy weather and hard winds we’ve experienced, your trees could be hiding a lot of hazards that are hard to see with an untrained eye. At Donegans Tree Service we are here to help!


Jim Donegan