Browning Pyramidal Cedars

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Thanks for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners regarding your browning pyramidal cedars. We receive a lot of questions regarding cedars, and browning seems to be a very common problem. Browning can be traced to a variety of causes, including inadequate soil moisture (too much or too little), winter desiccation (water loss from excess wind), and pests (ex. spider mites). Without knowing any details about the growing conditions and site location of your particular cedars, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. However, if you are just noticing the browning now, it is highly likely that harsh winter conditions have resulted in desiccation and dieback, which does not spread from one tree to another. You should be able to plant new trees close by, but you will want to pay extra attention to the soil conditions and ensure they receive adequate water during the summer. You should also consider providing winter protection. For information on how to prepare cedars for winter, please refer to Pyramidal Cedar Care for Winter posted previously on our website. If you are interested in reading additional posts about browning in cedar trees, please refer to this list of archived questions.