How far is 'too far gone'

Windhaven(5- Midstate IL)July 30, 2012

I am like so many of you, doing the best I can to water my new trees and plants but I am definitely loosing the battle with far too many. When a conifer starts to brown or yellow, can it survive if the browning is severe but not complete? I haven't seen anyone address this particular question on the forums. I'd love some insight into when to give up (and stop watering dead looking things )and also, a few success stories of bringing precious conifers back from the brink would be refreshing!

The flip side is that the ones that seem to be doing ok, look good. What a year!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


interior browning is normal..

no conifer holds its needles forever...

interior browning is increased by transplant .. drought.. and intense heat ... its all about being 'established' .. and the normal cycle of the plant ...

the future is all in the buds.. or growth points ... if those remain viable .. then there is hope ...

i was thinking about this the other day.. i should patent those words.. as i suspect i/we will be typing them hundreds of times this fall/winter ... as that is when the cycle usually appears ...

you give up ... when you no longer have the patience to look at it ... on my 5 acres.. way out back.. that can be 5 years.. lol .. on a much smaller lot.. that could be tomorrow.. your choice ... but my usual fall back is.. that if it is the front of your house.. a visitors first impression.. get rid of it ... or move it out back in fall


    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 7:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ive thought about that same thing a couple times and i have had NONE...make it back. For me when the browning started, its already too late. All the water in the world hasnt turned one around for me.Infact, ill be taking another one up this evening.
As a side note, we have recieved SOME rain. But the temps have been brutal for long periods of time.I feel sorry for the folks who are not getting any rain at all...we still have a ways to go!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Disfigurement is as good as gone in my book. Once the full look is going to be impossible for new buds to reclothe even in years then I bin it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 10:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

yes.. but we dont have a picture here.. and the point i might not have been clear about is..

if it is ONLY interior ... then its basically normal..

but if its to the branch ends.. which would.. as severn suggests.. leads to disfigurement upon removal.. then.. its just to your tolerance.. to be aggravated by it.. every time you look at it.. [or when the neighbors start gossiping about it.. lol] ...


    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Water the ones that you value the most & have the highest reasonable chance of survival (ie. most drought tolerant, least damage currently). Abandon the rest & redo.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have suffered a bad drought here in Wisconsin and Im worried that we have lost our 10 year old evergreen- any thoughts or suggestions?? Is there a chance of surival or does it look too far gone?
thank you!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Alas, I think it's dead. I suggest you cut it down. That's not going to come back.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

duplicate post/???

same answer in the other post..


    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

It looks dead, enright, but honestly, I'm surprised it died, your grass isn't *that* brown.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

The drought and heat might have pushed it over the edge but there is no way it died soley on that.

The decidious trees are first to show signs versus conifers.

I "was" in a pocket of extreme drought similar to the Madison area and I haven't seen a single "newly" declining conifer in my area. Of course just my new plantings!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 3:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wisconsitom, Wisconsin's a big place. there are portions of the state, primarily northward, that have had plentiful moisture all summer. But it's quirky. Just talked to a guy that spent the last two weeks up in the U.P. He was in the area I would call the eastern U.P. but which is actually more central. At any rate, he said it was super dry there.

I mention only because the U.P. should really be part of Wisconsin!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You wish! =P

I've been seeing stress on trees around here like I've never seen before. My workplace has 200 acres of various trees the monks planted before they left, and just the other day I noticed a nice looking maple dropping about a quarter of it's very green leaves, with nary a breeze.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Windhaven(5- Midstate IL)

Thanks to all for your invaluable advice and opinions. It looks like I wasn't the only one that had similar questions, sadly enough.

Ken, explaining the difference between needles dropping from the inside out vs limbs dying inward makes better sense out of it for me. I will stop watering a few of the "goners" and start dreaming about others for another year.

Severnside, I see the wisdom in what you say also. I'm using this year as an experiment in my yard (haha.) If any of the sickly ones survive (they are all very small or miniature specimens) I will see what transpires afterwards.

Has anyone had one turn around ? (just curious)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Windhaven(5- Midstate IL)

Thanks for all the invaluable information. It looks like I wasn't the only one that needed some guidance, alas. Even though we have had so little rain this year, I've managed to keep most of the new and newer small/medium sized trees happy. I have lost almost every single small potted or miniature type conifer I planted this year and lots of perrenials. Live and learn. I haven't lost one thing that I mail ordered or bought directly at Klehm's on my bus trip however . I personally think it speaks to their stock and their caretaking.

Ken, you really helped me understand something important. Brown needles from the inside means something different than turning brown on the tips and receeding in.

Guess I'll stop watering a few more "goners" and start dreaming about what I'll replace them with in the future! Yes, it makes me sick but I will never give up the enjoyment and personal satisfaction. I am also guilty of buying and planting another tree this past week. It looked good, the price was right, and it was talking to me. I do plan on trying to plant in the fall and spring when possible but in that case, it will have a better chance in the ground, IMO.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 11:23PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
emerald green problems, maybe
Hi, I purchased emerald green arborvitaes (or at least...
yellowing of emerald arborvitae
I have several emerald arborvitaes that are turning...
Does the Thuja Green Giant bronzing in winter include crispiness?
We are zone 5 in southern nebraska. We have 60+ thuja...
Forests of France/Belgium region.
So I was watching some of PBS's continuing documentary...
Leyland Cypress in containers? What can I do with them?
(Zone 7a - Northern Virginia. Winter temperatures usually...
Sponsored Products
Minimal Wood Wall Hooks
| Dot & Bo
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 2 Slice Toaster
$299.99 | FRONTGATE
Winners Only Zahara 57 in. Computer Desk - Medium Oak - GZ257CF
$886.00 | Hayneedle
Trex Benches Surf City Textured Silver 68 in. Patio Bench with Tree House Slats
Home Depot
Seashell Iced Tea Goblets
Classic Hostess
Dreamspa Extra-Large 8-inch Rainfall LED Shower Head
Hot Pink Dot Ribbon Oval Platter
$44.99 | zulily
Textured Lines Rug 9' x 12' - MUSHROOM
$3,599.00 | Horchow
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™