Mountain Hemlock brown needles and drooping

Asked June 2, 2020, 3:45 PM EDT

Hi, I have three small Mountain Hemlocks planted near our house trimmed as ornamental. They were planted about 2 years ago by a local "expert" nursery company we no longer do business with. They are about 4.5 feet high. On one tree, a double stock, I recently noticed some of the needles are turning brown starting from the branch out, green on the tips. They also droop at the end. Please see photos. The tree also seems to be a different color than the other two -- light green compared to a more blue green of the other two. There doesn't appear to be any spots, lumps, white powder substance etc., or bugs under the needles or anywhere on the plant.

Help please, I would hate to loose these trees.

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for the images. I consulted with the OSU Plant Pathologist who said the following:
"Looks like it could be several issues. . . . that section between two of the trees looks like web blight. [The dusky area between the two trees, just above the bottom.] Image is a bit far away to make that determination. I don’t like the idea that one of them is a different color. That could mean a root rot. Might collapse when the summer heat really hits.

"Some of the needles look more like sun burn or a burn of some kind. That is more of what I think when I see the damaged tissue just a light tan color with no variation and no transition to healthy tissue. . . . Could also be another aspect of a root rot."

If it is web blight, the side-by-side planting that's also close to the wall inhibits air circulation. Not a good thing. Further, no chemicals are listed for use by home gardeners.

Consider inviting at least 3 Certified Arborists for on-site evaluations and for their diagnosis , also opinions of what kind of treatment might be helpful. (We suggest Certified Arborists because they must pass an exam plus acquire continuing education units.)

A question for you: Are the trees a variety? If not, they will crowd each other out within several years.