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Old 10-16-2011, 05:09 PM   #1
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


We are in the Pacific Northwest area and we have some evergreen trees in the backyard. They are all pretty tall at about 3 to 4 stories high. Recently we have noticed some significant browning of the leaves and we are wondering if it is natural in the fall or something is terribly wrong with them.

I did read up on some info and apparent that this is sort of normal in the fall but I don't remember ever seeing them so brown in the past few years.

If the experts and knowledgeable folks here on DIYChatroom can take a look of these photos and let me know if we should be concerned and do something about it, I would appreciate it greatly.

Edit: Adding a link to more detailed pictures. If someone could please look at these pictures and share their knowledge, it would be appreciated!!
http://www.qphotos.com/treequestions/


Thank you!
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Last edited by mdawson3k; 10-17-2011 at 07:30 PM. Reason: Added links to pictures
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:18 PM   #2
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


I would take the photos to a local garden center and let them give you an educated opinion.
If it's happening to your trees, it's happening to others.

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Old 10-16-2011, 08:54 PM   #3
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


It's the same up here, but not a significant difference from years' past. Maybe this past summer was a little drier than the preceding 5 years, just a wild assed guess.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:32 PM   #4
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


I will be keeping my eye on this thread. I am in southern Ontario and have some evergreens, perhaps 10 - 18 feet tall in my backyard. They look like yours. Seem that about 5% - 10% of their leaves turn brown and fall. I always figured it was normal. But maybe I will now learn a little more about them.
Hopefully, we have an arborist on this forum.

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Old 10-16-2011, 10:00 PM   #5
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It's the same up here, but not a significant difference from years' past. Maybe this past summer was a little drier than the preceding 5 years, just a wild assed guess.
I can do that.
Could be mites. Another cause could be white cottony deposits on the branches. They're some sort of insect that sucks the life out of branches.
If you know the tree species, you can do an internet search.
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:20 PM   #6
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


If the majority of the needles that are dropping are in an area with low light, it is most likely normal. Look at some of the needles that are starting to brown out, but haven't fallen yet. Any lesions or fruiting bodies?
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:31 PM   #7
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


Added a link to more pictures!

Thank you.
http://www.qphotos.com/treequestions/
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:22 AM   #8
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


It looks like Thuja plicata/Western Red Cedar. Here in the east, we have a similar tree, Thuja occidentalis/Northern White Cedar. While evergreen, both of these trees shed a portion of their needles in the fall. After 2-3 years, all the needles have been replaced and the process repeats. The browning and dropping of the foliage should only be with the inner needles. If it is the outer needles you have some other problem.

This is also especially noticeable in White Pines this time of year.

One of your photographs shows cones on the end of a branch.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:23 AM   #9
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


It is normal for some browning to occur on inner needles this time of year. Throughout my area of the eastern US it is NOTICEABLY more severe with numerous types of evergreens this year....I have presumed it is attributed to how significantly dry it was this summer. Good post.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:39 PM   #10
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


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It is normal for some browning to occur on inner needles this time of year. Throughout my area of the eastern US it is NOTICEABLY more severe with numerous types of evergreens this year....I have presumed it is attributed to how significantly dry it was this summer. Good post.
You must have been in a pocket of dryness. We've had 64+" of rain. Number 4 in the record book.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:47 PM   #11
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


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You must have been in a pocket of dryness. We've had 64+" of rain. Number 4 in the record book.
Well maybe it was the heat...which was prevalent country wide this year. As for "pocket of dryness"...don't have stats to back it up...but I believe it was a pretty dry year throughout the country as well. I know Texas cooked most of the year. I think maybe you were in a pocket of wetness!!

All that being said...being as you got so much rain...what general observations, if any, can you share about the browning of evergreen needles in your area right now as compared to years past??
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:04 PM   #12
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


Are the pics redwood , only found on the west coast?
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:13 PM   #13
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


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Are the pics redwood , only found on the west coast?
Redwoods are not native in the Pac NW their a Northern Ca. thing although there are a few stands on the Or. side at the border.

Garden C nailed it, Western Red Cedar.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:38 PM   #14
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


Quick update - Consulted with two "arborists" and the responses were opposite.

One said there has possibly been too much water over the summer.

One said there has possibly been too little water over the summer.

Both said it does not appear that there is any disease.

If anyone has any insight into this, it would be most helpful!

Thank you.
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:12 PM   #15
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What's Wrong with the Evergreen Trees?!


After some digging, I found this

Flagging/Browning: If only a few branches have died out in patches along the hedge in summer, this may be natural cedar flagging. It is very common on Western Red Cedar and less frequent on Eastern White Cedar. Flagging may be more severe in hot, dry weather but is not considered harmful to the tree.

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