Over-fertilized Emerald cedar turning brown

(Question)

Over-fertilized Emerald cedar turning brown how can I reverse this. I used Jobe’s evergreen spikes just one per tree. I think it was too early in the year new growth was just ocurring. I dug out as much of the spike as I could but most of it dissolved. Is there anything I can do to help them. zone 4 Cobourg

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

When there is excessive fertilizer in the soil, the salts in the fertilizer will draw out the moisture from roots through reverse osmosis, resulting in plant dehydration. If your ‘Emerald’ Western white cedar is turning brown due to over-fertilization,  then you can try to flush the soil with water to leach away the salts. Be careful when you are doing this, however, since you do not want to drown the roots and make the problem worse. Add the water gradually, making sure that it is draining away and not pooling around the root zone. Good luck.