Help a Newly Planted Evergreen Turning Yellow, Brown or Dying

Help a Newly Planted Evergreen Turning Yellow, Brown or Dying

When you planted your new evergreen, you likely imagined it brightening up your snow-covered landscape. While most of your other plants slept, your evergreen would give you that burst of color you so desperately need in colder months!

So, why has your tree already traded in its signature color for dead-looking yellow or brown needles?! That’s not what you signed up for!

Keep reading to learn what’s going on with your evergreen and how to fix it.

Why is my newly planted evergreen turning yellow or brown?

Newly planted trees have a lot to deal with as they adjust to a new home. Even when we give them the best care after planting, they can still get stressed out.

That stress is known as transplant shock—it's when plant roots struggle to adjust after changing their environment. Transplant shock can cause many problems, and yellowing or browning foliage is one of the most common and easy to spot!

Are there other reasons why a newly planted evergreen turns brown?

Transplant shock can make an entire evergreen shift from green to yellow or even brown. But, if you’ve only noticed small parts of your evergreen changing color, that may be normal.

Sometimes, inner evergreen branches turn brown while the outer limbs remain green. This is a normal, healthy part of the growth process. No need to worry if that’s the case!

Is my newly planted evergreen dying if it’s brown or yellow?

Trees suffering from transplant shock are still alive but need a helping hand to regain their health and beauty.

Here are a few ways to help your newly planted evergreen get its groove (and green) back!

As usual, growing a healthy plant is all about having a plant health care plan.

Learn the best way to water your newly planted evergreen tree.



Photo Credit:

Joseph OBrien, USDA Forest Service,

  • The Tree Doctor February 22, 2018 >Hi there, Christy. There are many issues that can cause spruces to lose their needles on lower branches. It could be caused by drought, salt, injury, shade and different insects and diseases. We would need to see the tree to make a proper diagnosis. If you do decide to trim the branches, make sure to remove them close to the trunk and don’t leave a stub. It is also best not to remove the branches during wet weather to reduce the risk of spreading diseases. Here if you have any other questions, Christy.
  • Christy Dittmar February 22, 2018 >I have 2 Blue spruce in the back yard that look bad at the bottom(brown, dry, empty needles.) Should I consider trimming off the bottom branches? The tops of the trees look healthy.
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