japonica), hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9. But you may have noticed that your evergreen tree isn’t so green anymore; maybe it’s losing its luster and even turning brown. Is that normal? Janoski said the clinic has received hundreds of calls about boxwoods this season, and though there are a few reasons why a boxwood might turn brown, much of … The brown spots and dead branches on your boxwood may be because of several common boxwood ailments. If exposed to bright sun in winter, some boxwood foliage temporarily loses its green color; leaves take on an orange cast or turn an unattractive brownish-yellow. Winter weather woes. This is important so that the plant can gather energy for the following year. To pinpoint how to fix your evergreen trees’ brown needles, let’s look at a few reasons why it shifted color. Hello, We've been having problems with our established boxwoods turning brown and dying in large sections of the plants. By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer. The discolouration of the leaves often turning an orange or rust colour is due to environmental stress, usually seen in winter and due to the fact that they dried out in the previous summer. Learn about boxwood decline symptoms and tips on managing boxwood decline here. Often winter burn can be successfully pruned out the following spring and the shrub will be just fine. Twigs have long brown lesions. Winter burn starts with the tips of shrub needles turning brown, and then eventually full needles on a whole section of the tree are brown and dry. Not limited to the winter months, this may happen during any season of the year (and in fact, you’ll often notice it in the spring after a particularly cold winter.) But that doesn’t mean winter burn is immediately obvious. It is a devastating Are your boxwoods turning brown? Why Your Evergreen Trees Are Turning Brown in Winter and What to Do. PRO TIP: Pick a height and width that is towards the smaller plant sizes. I know it's hard when looking at pictures, but do you think these shrubs might come back? Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for this condition. At first I suspected winter damage/burn, but last year these shrubs were gorgeous and the only thing that has changed is the water situation. I have the same problem … In fact, it is winter weather that is one cause of yellowing leaves on boxwood plants. Boxwood Shrubs Turned Yellowish Brown. They are about 3 feet in height. But are the brown spots on boxwoods the result of winter kill or something more ... of states, Michigan is not one of them. Some completely, some just partial. Is it a disease, is it lack of water. Boxwood blight also kills leaves on boxwood shrubs, and it is much more serious. We have an abundance of them in my community doing the same thing. All brown shrubs don’t have the same back story. I believe the type of Boxwood is Winter Gem. Winter burn happens when the damage has already happened and killed cells in your boxwood. If that’s the case, why is it happening? When shrubs go brown, harsh temperatures and too much or too little care could be to blame. Leaves may turn straw-yellow or bronze and fall. Go ahead and cut them back to the healthy green sections. Homeowners across the Chicago area are reporting browning on boxwood bushes and it appears there’s a reason for that. I live in Columbia, MD and I have given it no additional water. Or are they lost forever? Always wait until the foliage has turned brown before digging them up. Thank you! Kelly, The yellowish brown is probably wind burn and now is a good time to trim it back. Zaranti said the winter burn should not be confused with boxwood blight, a disease characterized by leaf spots, stem cankers and defoliation. The boxwoods are turning brown and do not look healthy at all. The condition strikes plants receiving too much winter sun, especially when they're unprotected from frost or strong wind. If evergreen leaves or needles are brown or discolored, wait to see if the plant recovers before pruning. To trim your overgrown boxwood, start by removing dead branches with brown or shriveled leaves. Damage occurs when an unseasonable warm winter day gets the water flowing in the plant -- water that quickly freezes when evening arrives. What causes shrubs to turn brown? One is to prune back to green leaves. If the brown patches and dead foliage are primarily found at the tips of the branches, the likely culprit is winter damage. Foliage that was protected by snow from wind and severe cold will remain green, while exposed parts of the plant will be brown. Another is to wait for new growth and see where any twig dieback is if any and prune back to live wood. This is often seen in containerised plants grown in pots. PRO TIP: Keep in mind to always make the bottom a bit wider than the top to keep sunlight on the bottom leaves, so that they stay green. We purchased our home in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mi. Blight: Leaves on the lower part of the shrub have brown spots. In the front of the home, on the SSW facing side, are a number of small boxwoods. This cycle is called winter burn, or desiccation and is mostly likely what caused your boxwoods/azalea to turn brown or yellowish this winter/early spring. Boxwood decline in shrubs is a disorder caused by plant stress and fungal diseases. Boxwoods exposed to winter sun can develop cambium activity too early in the season, according to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Roots rely on water stored in tree needles once the ground freezes. Winter damage to boxwoods is often indicated by a “snowline” (Photo 1). Question From: K. LYNCH - NEW YORK . As for the boxwoods, many varieties lose their bright green color as the weather gets cold. Winter burn is a common problem of evergreens including those with broad leaves (e.g., boxwood, holly, rhododendron), needles (e.g., fir, hemlock, pine, spruce, yew) and scale-like leaves (e.g., arborvitae, false cypress, juniper) grown in open, unprotected locations and exposed to severe winter conditions. Volutella Blight Boxwood Treatment: Learn About Volutella Blight Control. × View full size in a new window × View full size in a new window. Often, diseased leaves will form distinct brown spots with tiny black bumps. Reasons your shrubs are turning brown and dying and what you can do. The result: leaves and needles turning brown and dying. What is Boxwood Decline? The leaves may become orange, yellow or reddish brown. Remove dead leaves accumulated among the branches. Not surprisingly, the discolored section appears on the side of the plant that gets the most sun or wind throughout winter. Prune dead branches well below cankered areas. As you can see in the photos, I have started to cut away the dead portions, but my questions is, what more should I do. Winterburn in boxwoods is when the leaves have turned tan or brown can be dealt with in a couple of ways.