Have you ever noticed yellowing or browning of your evergreens during the winter season? If so, they may have suffered some sort of winter injury. A common condition known as “winter burn’ may be the culprit.

Winter burn occurs when dry winter winds pull the moisture out of evergreen needles and leaves, causing them to dry out and turn brown. In extreme cases, needles and leaves can fall off, leaving the exposed portion of the plant stunted, disfigured or dead.

The best way to prevent winter burn is to have your evergreens treated with an anti-desiccant spray in the late fall. The biodegradable protectant will form a barrier against winter winds that helps to keep moisture inside needles and leaves. It will wear off as new growth begins again in the spring.

If you have evergreens located in open spots on your property (where wind isn’t blocked by structures or other plants), they are especially at risk of winter burn. An anti-desiccant treatment is one of the best ways to help them emerge from the winter season unharmed.