Snow-laden evergreens with branches drooping gracefully toward the ground are a common holiday card image. Evergreens with naturally drooping branches are popular landscape trees. Drooping branches, however, sometimes indicate evergreens in distress.
Coniferous Evergreen Droop
More than 150 species of needled evergreens have pendulous, or weeping, branches. Coniferous, naturally drooping evergreens include white pine (Pinus strobus 'Angel Falls') and weeping hemlock (Tsuga canadensis 'Pendula').
Broadleaved Evergreen Droop
Rhododendron's broadleaved, evergreen foliage often turns yellow, curling under and drooping when temperatures fall to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a temporary, water-conserving measure, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension information specialist Nancy Doubrava and plant pathologist James H. Blake.
Scots and other non-native pines are vulnerable to parasitic nematodes that cause pine wilt. Needles on affected trees turn brown and wilt quickly, often staying on the trees and causing a droopy look.
A covering of ice and snow on arborvitae and other heavily stemmed, coniferous evergreens can be as damaging as it is beautiful. Protect these trees from heavy winter snows by bundling their stems together and tying them with rope or twine. Brush snow off gently; let ice melt. Remove the bindings in spring.
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Types of Small Evergreens
Most people think of evergreens simply as pine trees and the like, but in reality the term "evergreen" encompasses all types of...