I have two potted evergreen trees about 4 feet tall. They both candled nicely this year as they always do; they have been in these big pots now for about 4 years. In the past two weeks I have noticed that on one side of both trees they are turning brown. Please help, I don’t want to lose them.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Veronica: You are likely not doing anything wrong to cause the brown foliage. Not knowing specifically what the evergreens are that you have in your containers, it is difficult to say what might be going on. From what you have described it sounds like they put on healthy new growth this year. I realize they have been growing in this same location for a few years, but is it possible that the sides that are turning brown are not receiving as much sunlight as the others? If so, rotating the pots every couple of weeks would help. At first thought this seems to be more of an environmental issue than an insect or disease problem because it is only affecting one side of each evergreen. Otherwise, you should take a sample of the foliage to your local garden center or to your County Cooperative Extension Service. Evergreens are wonderful in containers for year-round interest, but they may not want to live their entire lives in these containers and may be happier planted in the garden. For now you can prune back the brown foliage.