Hello! This cedar has been with us for almost a decade. This fall the older leaves started turning brown. Is this common because of the odd weather.
I often say to my clients that the term “evergreen” is a bit deceiving as even these trees and shrubs shed old foliage to allow for new growth. That being said, it is possible that this is an indication that your tree is stressed. What I am going to suggest is to give it a boost before heading into the winter. To do this, I recommend adding compost to the base of the cedar followed by a thick layer of mulch. Please be sure to leave a couple of inches between the mulch and the trunk of the cedar as the mulch holds water and can cause rot if pilled up against the tree. I would then water the tree right up until the first frost, ensuring it is well hydrated for the winter ahead. You can put your hose on a trickle for 15-20 minutes every couple of days. Despite the next couple of days of rain forecasted, it has been a very dry fall and many plants are feeling it. Evergreens in particular feel dehydration in late winter when the sun starts to warm the tree but the ground is still frozen. What happens here is the tree transpires with the warmth of the sun releasing water, but then is unable to replace the water from its root system due to the frozen ground. This can cause further browning or what we call “winter burn”. If your tree is well hydrated in the fall it will significantly reduce the chances of this occurring.
Good luck caring for your cedar!
October 6, 2023