Cedar Problem

Asked May 29, 2018, 8:59 PM EDT

Hello, A client asked us to give a name to the problem her cedar trees are having. The trees a almost completely bare in some spots. I think she said she has like 20 of these trees and they are all experiencing the issue. She said she has not seen the rust gulls. Are you able to tell from the pictures what the issue is? Her husband is opposed to tearing down the trees. I know this may be a far fetched question, but is there any chance they will recover? She said the issue has been going on for awhile when I asked or suggested maybe it was just winter damage (before seeing the pictures). Thanks in advance! Sincerely, Master Gardener, Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel County Maryland

4 Responses

We have had several questions about eastern red cedars and the browning of the foliage. This looks like winter damage. There is new growth on the tips and it should recover.


What about the tree where the foliage is almost completely gone in some areas? Is that just winter damage? I am pretty sure the client said this has been persisting for awhile. Should they prune out the dead and brown foliage? Also I noticed a lot of foliage toward the bottom of the tree. Should they prune that back? Is now an alright time to do that?

We still think this is winter damage. There is new growth on the tips and the trees should recover. Avoid pruning to wood without needles. The best time to prune this species is before spring growth. You could contact a certified arborist if you would like to have the tree evaluated and samples submitted to a lab. You can find an arborist using this website from the arborist association: http://www.treesaregood.org/


Thank you so much for your help and the information regarding finding an arborist!