Brown branches on "cedar" trees

Asked May 1, 2015, 4:44 AM EDT

We have a tree similar to cedar. The inner branches frequently turn brown. The tips remain green and when I prune the branches they appear green inside. I can knock he brown needles off the inner parts of the branches. This does not appear to be the common cedar/apple rust. Should I worry or is it natural for the needle to turn brown and be brittle?

Montgomery County Virginia

1 Response

This looks like it could be normal dieback. I would continue to clean (rake) out the brown areas to allow air and light into the middle of the tree. This happens from the lack of light and air flow.
Some things to look for are:
-any sap or oozing from the tree trunk
-any small looking "cones" hanging from the branches of the tree (bagworm nests)

Please keep us posted once you clean the tree. Is there new growth? Does the brown area spread?