Cedar tree assessment

Asked September 10, 2018, 6:26 PM EDT

I can tell that a lot of us are alarmed about our cedar trees flagging! I too have a very large and old cedar on my property which has just started browning over the past few weeks. I wonder if it is going through a normal phase or is failing. I imagine it's hard to give an assessment by pictures, but can you tell me what you think? I have called an arborist to give me a health assessment (if they will). I appreciate your feedback to the pictures.

Thank you,
Alice Smith

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

From the photos, it looks like the flagging branches are mostly to the interior, while the newer outer foliage is green and healthy. Probably this is normal shedding of older foliage, typical in the fall. It seems a little bit on the early side for this year, but we have had a very dry summer which might be causing trees to shed their old needles earlier than usual. Some years this fall flagging is more evident than other years.
Incense cedar, like many of our conifers, has been experiencing hard times over the last few years with drought stress. However, I don't think your tree is failing.