Why my shrubs have browning pines for a specific section of the yard?

Asked September 14, 2019, 12:13 PM EDT

I've been directed to ask a lawn question to Maryland's Cooperative Extension Office related to dying shrubs. My question is why my shrubs have turned brown for a specific section of my yard? When we moved in a few years ago the shrubs were all green. Lately, maybe the last 6 months or so, there was an abrupt change in the color of these pines from green to brown. The shrubs right next to the dying shrubs look healthy and are in physical contact with the dying shrubs. This started to happen in the winter I believe. I was originally concerned about a fungus spreading, but didn't see any indication on root, stem, or leaves, but then again I'm not an expert. The base of these shrubs seems to collect more water than the neighboring shrubs, but I'm not certain how much more. I'm attaching some pictures with the hope that I can get some thoughts on this issue or have representative come out and inspect the problem area. You can clearly see that there's discontinuity in color with adjacent shrubs.

Harford County Maryland shrubs leyland cypress abiotic issues trees evergreens died evergreens in wet soil died

2 Responses

Many plants drowned after the abnormal rainfall of last summer (twice normal). Most plants cannot tolerate sitting in standing water or saturated soils for long. Roots need oxygen, and the water pushes oxygen out of the soil.

Evergreens tend to stay green for a long time, even when the roots have died (think of Christmas trees.) Many people had trees that appeared to get through the winter just fine, but then died. They may have already been dead, or on the edge and when hot dry weather arrived, it pushed them over the edge.

Remove the dead shrubs and replace with ones that tolerate wet soil or else dry up the area a bit.

Ellen

Many plants drowned after the abnormal rainfall of last summer (twice normal). Most plants cannot tolerate sitting in standing water or saturated soils for long. Roots need oxygen, and the water pushes oxygen out of the soil.

Evergreens tend to stay green for a long time, even when the roots have died (think of Christmas trees.) Many people had trees that appeared to get through the winter just fine, but then died. They may have already been dead, or on the edge and when hot dry weather arrived, it pushed them over the edge.

Remove the dead shrubs and replace with ones that tolerate wet soil or else dry up the area a bit.

Ellen