What is causing trees to die and what can I do about it?

Asked July 27, 2019, 2:59 PM EDT

Hi, My evergreen trees are turning brown and fast. I've noticed this happening at other homes in my neighborhood and even at my place of work (a college campus), so I don't think it is specific to my home/yard but something more general. In the images showing the trees near the house, those are two separate trees of the same kind. But one has turned brown and is losing its leaves while the other is still green. Other trees (of the same kind) around the brown on, ones that run along side the house, are all turning brown.

Thank you!

Baltimore Maryland shrubs abiotic issues

2 Responses

This rapid browning/dieback in an entire section of the plant is likely due to an injury in the plant's root system. We have seen a lot of Yew shrubs die completely due to the extremely wet weather we had last year and into this spring. Soil saturation and lack of oxygen in the soil can lead to root death in plants that do not tolerate wet conditions. When the plant can no longer take up the water it needs, you will see complete browning/dieback like this. All you can do is prune out the brown portion when the weather is dry. If the downspout drains right to the base of the plant, you might check to see if it is possible to divert the spout so that you don't have too much water accumulating in this area.

Christa

Christa,

Thanks very much for this information. Very helpful!