Winter Desiccation in Pine Trees (23205 bytes)

Winter Desiccation in Pine Trees

By Mary Small, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Urban Integrated Pest Management

Are the outsides of your pines turning brown? This is probably winter desiccation, especially if the problem is limited to the outer part of the plant.  Evergreens lose moisture on sunny winter days.  If the soil doesn't contain enough moisture to replace the loss, needles--starting from the outside and moving inward--dry out and turn brown.  Sometimes, however, the soil is moist but the roots can't absorb it.   The ground might be frozen or the roots damaged.

To avoid winter desiccation, provide adequate moisture to the plants throughout the year, including during winter.

Photograph courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010