After the winter we are noticing our junipers look burnt on the edges. I have...

Asked May 30, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT

After the winter we are noticing our junipers look burnt on the edges. I have noticed it in our yard and other yards through town. What can I do to eliminate this burnt look?

Blue Earth County Minnesota winter burn

1 Response

It was a tough winter for many evergreens and the evidence is observable all over the cities. Winter burn is caused by very low temperatures, wind and most importantly sun. Many trees that are showing the reddish brown color will recover just fine. Others may need to be pruned to get rid of the dead branches. Most trees will eventually recover their normal form - baring repeated severe winter weather!

You don't say how big these trees are but if they are small enough they could be wrapped in burlap for the winter. Large trees are nearly impossible to protect, but they are also less likely to suffer as much damage as small, or newly planted trees.
In addition to protecting small trees, the best way to make sure they will survive with minimal damage is to apply the proper amount of fertilizer in sping, and water the plants well until the ground freezes. Never fertilize evergreens after mid summer because that will encourage a flush of new growth right before winter starts. The new needles are thin and tender and will suffer greatly in our cold climate.