conifers

i have 5 conifers they are about 5 years old, 4 of them are 3/4 brown and 1 is completely brown, they were ok last year, could it have been the bad winter. what do you think.
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alienM


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Hi there, yes it would seem that your conifers have really taken the harsh winter quite severely. It is not uncommon for weather conditions such as severe wind to cause significant damage. Snow sitting on them for long periods does not help either. I have seen many cases of this problem over the current years gardening.
The Gardengirl 'Garden Design, Landscaping and accessories from the Gardengirl' (http://www.thegardengirl.co.uk )
alienM;891799 Wrote: > i have 5 conifers they are about 5 years old, 4 of them are 3/4 brown > and 1 is completely brown, they were ok last year, could it have been > the bad winter. what do you think.
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thegardengirl


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Without knowing which kind of conifers and in what climate all anyone can offer is wild speculation.
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My wild speculations :)
Wild Speculation #1 I have had winter burn on two conifers. They came out it. Also the two conifers were topiaries which I think opened them up from the cold. I should have covered them during winter.
Wild Speculation #2 If they are winter wind burned, the damage is usually on one side of the tree. Then again could be going though a natural phase in shedding the needles (If such things exist). I have seen my austrian pines go brown then loose their needles and go back to looking fine a month later.
Wild Speculation #3 Poorly planted trees. Five years is about right when the trees start to expand beyond the hole that was originally dug. Soil may be too hard for the roots to break trough and become root bound in the hole. Are roots turning upward and out of the soil? Roots should be going downward and out. Does the tree limbs expand beyond the hole that was dug? If not, not much hope for the trees.
Could try and drill one foot deep holes around the trees at the drip line and beyond. Fill the holes with fertilizers. Get a tiller and loosen the soil around the trees. Cut off any roots that have turned upward.
If this fails, you will have lots of good mulch the next season.
When planting trees take a heavy pitchfork and puncture the side walls, of the hole that was dug, this helps the roots to punch through the heaver compacted soil so roots will grow out and down.
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Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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I had a couple that were planted by the road. After this last winter, they too turned brown. We had to dig them out. I think it may have something to do with the road salt. I live in a northern climate and we did get a lot of snow last year.
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alienM wrote:

Where you live makes a big difference. We are in a dry climate where we are advised to water trees once a month in winter unless we have lots of snow. It makes a difference.
gloria p
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