Help, my cedars are dying

Asked August 5, 2019, 12:29 PM EDT

I live on Fanno Creek in SW Raleigh Hills. We have three huge old cedar trees that have turned completely brown. Two are brown on my neighbor's property. This occurred pretty rapidly. I don’t think they were like this last year. My neighbor said its bark beetle, and there’s nothing we can do but cut them down. I've also read that it could just be drought issues causing the dye off. To me that's a big difference, in terms of whether it will spread or not. How do I tell? These are (were) huge beautiful old trees. Is the City of Portland doing anything about this, as it seems to be a serious issue in our area. Any info, assistance is very much appreciated

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

We are getting many reports of dying cedar in your vicinity, and many others in the north Willamette Valley. Experts are unsure of the exact mechanism that is causing the decline, but drought/heat stress appears to be the main factor. Bark or wood boring beetles may be found after the tree is dead or near death, but they are not the major culprit. These insects feed on trees that are already stressed or dead.

See these links for more information:


Along with the Oregon Dept of Forestry, OSU Extension is collecting location-specific information on these reports of dying cedar trees, so that we can do further monitoring and research. I would appreciate if you could email me back directly (address below) with your contact information and address.