Q. Some branches on my blue atlas cedar have turned brown and aren't growing new needles. How should I treat the tree?
It is very possible that an extremely cold winter could cause some dieback. To test whether the affected branches are really dead, gently scrape at the bark near the end of the branch. Green means alive; brown means dead.
If a branch is dead, you will have to cut it off where it meets the trunk. Unlike most deciduous trees, conifers will not sprout new growth if you cut a branch back halfway. They must be cut back to the trunk.
The best time to prune is in late winter, while the tree is still in dormancy.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service