Week of May 16, 2022
Kathleen Cue, Dodge County Extension Horticulture Educator
Many tree owners have been confronted with browning evergreens this spring. Even the tough-as-nails-never-needs-attention junipers are brown, in some cases entire trees. The winter of 2021-2022 showed deepening drought and this dryness, coupled with strong winds, was death to many evergreens, particularly junipers and arborvitaes.
Evergreens are unique for their ability to photosynthesize on days when temperatures are above 45 degrees F. The region saw a lot of days like this with the mild winter. But the process of photosynthesis is hard work, requiring water along the way. When water cannot be replaced because of dry soils, then brown needles are the result.