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Re: Spruce Tree browning

There have been several postings this year about stress to evergreens.
People are puzzled because there's been a lot of rain this year, but the
stress is a consequence of the drought conditions from THE YEAR BEFORE.
Trees are very long-lived and seem to operate on a time scale closer to
geological time than to human time. 

For example, some woody plants only produce flowers/fruit on wood that
was grown the previous year. Such plants are going to show the most
severe effects of a drought in the year following the drought.
Evergreens, because they don't go dormant in the winter like deciduous
trees, have a greater complex of weather factors affecting them. A cold,
dry winter can be just as damaging to them as a hot, dry summer, and the
combination can be downright deadly. 

Weather stress can also adversely affect a tree's immune system,
rendering it more susceptible to disease and parasites in the years
immediately following a drought (or a particularly severe winter, where
evergreens are concerned). 

As Bruce suggested, the state Cooperative Extension Service is one of the
best sources for information on what's ailing your trees. The CES was
created for the express purpose of providing horticultural/agricultural
information to the public. They maintain extensive records on weather
conditions and the occurrence of parasites and pathogens affecting plants
both wild and cultivated. Give 'em a call!

Happy Gardening!
Jennifer Barricklow
North Haven CT
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