Winter burn turning evergreen trees brown -- and what to do - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Winter burn turning evergreen trees brown -- and what to do

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Have your evergreen trees been looking a little less-than-green this spring?

The long, cold winter caused a lot of area evergreens to get something called winter burn. That's when the evergreen's needles don't receive enough moisture and turn from their green color to a burnt orange or brown.

Dubuque city forester Steve Pregler said don't remove that tree just yet -- there may still be hope for it.

"The buds that were produced on those plants last year were protected within the bud scales," Pregler said. "So they still have the full potential of producing new needles."

If, however, after a month or so the tree's color has failed to improve, he said, "that's when, if the plant doesn't look aesthetically pleasing, then you may want to yank it at that time and replace it."

For deciduous trees -- trees that lose their leaves over the winter -- the long, cold season was a good thing, Pregler said, as they were able to remain dormant the entire time. Winters punctuated by warm spells cause the trees stress, as they're regularly partially-thawing and then freezing again.

The danger zone for trees is not over, Pregler said. Continued wet weather like we've been having could put evergreen and deciduous trees alike at risk of fungal diseases.

Click here to see how to protect spruce trees:

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