Brown spots on evergreens

Asked July 25, 2018, 12:40 PM EDT

Hi. We have 8 of these ornamental evergreen shrubs around the foundation of our house. 2 of them have developed brown spots with dead needles. The others look fine. Can you advise us as to the problem and how to treat it?

We live in SW Missouri about 40 miles South of Joplin. We appreciate any assistance you can provide.
I have included photos of the healthy looking shrub and the affected shrub.
Thank You,

Ret and Richard Averill

Barry County Missouri

3 Responses

My first question is when were these planted? And what's the follow-up care been like (if these were planted in the last 2 years)
How close together are these planted? Are the affected shrubs side by side?
Have you had a lot of hot, dry weather? Or has it been overly rainy
What side of the house are they on?
Is this a newly constructed home?

Sorry for so many questions but the picture by itself is not enough.
Please respond and I can give you a better answer.

These were planted in 2014. They were fertilized in October 2017 with evergreen granules. They are about 3 feet apart, and side by side. It has been very hot and dry for the last 4 to 5 weeks but they are watered once/week for 2.5 to 3 hours using a drip irrigation system. I checked the system and it is working. They are on the East side of the house. Not new construction. House was built in 1930. Thank you.

So do you know how wet the soil is or do you just run it that amount of time because someone suggested it? My problem with irrigation is that no one actually checks the soil. I would almost guarantee (and I could be wrong) that you are overwatering them. Soil near the foundation is usually very compacted. Therefore, it holds moisture.

Use a soil probe (or trowel or shovel) and jam it down in the soil. If it's soppy, you need to do a better job of managing the irrigation. If it's not, then I'm wrong.

Also, where is the downspout from your gutters? It may be draining into this area as well, compounded the problem.

This looks like a root problem, not a spider mite problem.

Lastly, botryosphaeria canker is an off-possibility on stressed plants. It takes some investigation, working back from the affected tips, to see if there's a canker on a twig some distance back. Botryosphaeria is easy to fix -- keep your plant stress-free.

If push comes to shove, take part of your shrub to your local Extension office for proper diagnosis.