Virginia cedars

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Virginia cedars

Post by conestoga73 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:54 pm

It seems that many of my wild Virginia red cedars have brown foliage -- this winter and spring. Is this just winter kill or is there a disease attacking these trees?
Powhatan, VA

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Re: Virginia cedars

Post by lorijones » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:28 pm

Our native red cedars are very hardy and generally do not suffer winter kill. Sometimes heavy snow or ice can break or split branches which will then turn brown and die. If they are along the road, they have been subjected to salt spray from the highway. We have noticed a lot of damage to evergreens along the roadside (branches and whole trees turning brown and dying) due to salt spray and runoff from the road.
These trees are also very disease resistant especially the older they are. Young trees can get a twig blight but those older than 5 years are generally not affected. Cedar-apple rust can cause the tips of some branches to turn brown and drop off but not whole branches.
There are some insect pests that can cause damage to red cedars; the most common being bagworms but these would be easy to see on your trees. Spider mites can also infest red cedars and cause damage. If you tap one of the affected branches on a white piece of paper and you see little tiny dots running around on the paper, you have spider mites. Bonide Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew can help control bagworms and spider mites when used according to the label directions.
It always helps to feed the trees to help keep them healthy. You can feed them with Espoma Holly-tone, Plant-tone, or Tree-tone according to the label directions.

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