Many varieties of cedar are found throughout Northern North America. Cedar cultivars have foliage that ranges from solid green to bronze to bluish-tinged needles. Yellow or brown needles, regardless of species, indicate the tree suffers from environmental stress.
The cedar tree's shallow root system makes it susceptible to root death. Excessive fertilization, overwatering, underwatering and improper planting cause root problems that lead to foliage discoloration. When planting your cedar, be certain the twine and burlap from the bag are loosened so that the root ball can emerge.
In certain conditions, needle bronzing is normal. Some cedar species' foliage turns blue or gold in winter as a response to frigid temperatures. Road salt can cause foliage to brown so keep the tree's area clear of ice melt and other chemicals. Foliage browning in summer may be the result of water stress and herbicide exposure. Take care to water your tree so that the ground around it is moist through the top 18 inches. Avoid spraying herbicides near your cedar tree.
Horticulturists from North Dakota State University advise pruning out brown and yellow needles and branches, but only if these conditions are present in limited amounts throughout the tree. Yellow and brown needles covering the tree indicate the tree cannot be saved. Snip out the brown spots and ensure the soil is evenly moist but not sodden. Maintain regular irrigation and the tree should survive.
- United States Department of Agriculture: Western Red Cedar Plant Guide
- Ohio State University Horticulture and Crop Science: Arborvitae for the Home Landscape
- British Columbia, Canada Department of Agriculture: Dying Cedar Hedges -- What Is the Cause?
- North Dakota State University Extension: Questions on Cedar
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Cedar Tree Identification
Identifying a cedar tree can be a little tricky: there are many different types of cedar trees. However, they do have similar...
Why Are My Cedar Trees Turning Brown?
The cedar or Cupressaceae family includes approximately 140 species, which include not only variants of the cedar, such as northern white cedar...
Why Do Evergreens Turn Yellow?
When your evergreen is looking not-so-green, it's easy to become alarmed with thoughts of disease or insect infestation. Whether your evergreens are...
My Emerald Green Arborvitaes Are Turning Yellow
It may be worrisome to observe your emerald green arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) turning yellow. There are a number of reasons why these...
How to Plant an English Laurel
The English Laurel, also know as the Cherry Laurel, is widely used as a hedging plant because of its tolerance for a...
How to Save a Cedar Hedge
Cedar hedges are susceptible to many environmental elements that can cause damage to the hedge. Once a hedge has been planted, it...
Why Are My Cedar Deodars Turning Yellow?
The cedar deodar (Cedrus deodara) is a 70-foot tall tree that grows best within zones 7 through 9 on the U.S. Department...
What Kind of Leaves Does the Cedar Tree Have?
Cedar trees are members of the cypress family. Their leaves are slender, evergreen and needle-like. Many cedar species are found across North...
What Causes a Cedar to Turn Orange?
Cedar trees -- Cedrus spp. -- are evergreen conifers from the pine family. The trees adapt well to a range of climatic...
My Green Hedge Is Turning Yellow
Shrubs and other bushy plants growing as hedges can come under attack from a variety of insects and diseases that turn the...
What to Do for a Cedar Tree Turning Brown
Before you rush off and think you have a sick cedar on your hands, it is important to know what is normal...