Shedding evergreens

(Question)

Hello :)

I have a question about our thuja evergreens (of exact name I’m not sure) that are about 7-9 years old. They are planted along our driveway. We protect them from winter salt, but never cover them with burlap.

I’m concerned about the excessive shedding that I noticed over the last few weeks. They seem healthy on the exterior and there is some very young growth on the trunk.

I spray them with Insecticidal Soap during the summer and try to water them regularly.

I would be immensely grateful for any tips on how to properly take care of them and whether the shedding is of concern.

(Answer)

Thuja occidentalis is a fast growing evergreen – perfect for borders, living fences and wind breaks. They are hardy and native to Southern Ontario. They do best in full sun. Staying on top of pruning will provide you with the shape you desire for your landscape. Give them a good watering if it’s been dry but aside from that these trees are fairly low maintenance.

There can be many reasons why your thuja evergreens (Thuja occidentalis) are browning on the inside. However, judging from your photos and that you haven’t mentioned any insect activity I believe that it is more likely that those needles are just at the end of their life.  As with deciduous trees, evergreens do loose their needles though the life span is much more than one season. It is also possible that the past two cold winters have also contributed to browning as your trees are susceptible to winter injury. Also, make sure they are getting good moisture in the fall to avoid dessication.

If you see the browning start to worsen on the outer needles either send us a follow up photo or get in touch with a local arborist.

So, as it stands now keep doing what your doing and your trees should be fine.

Here are a couple links with some more information:

http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/askagardener/cedars-look-dead-at-bottom/

http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=3351