The Q&A Archives: Evergreen Tree

Question: I live in Manhattan and have a balcony with north exposure (I get a lot of sun!) and I have a 6'0" evergreen in my balcony that I bought last fall. During the spring we had some 90 degree weather, I water my tree accordingly but now I see some leaves are dry and some of the leaves tip are also drying. Is this normal for the summer? What should I do to keep it green? Is it too late? Please help!!

Answer: Balcony living can be very stressful to an evergreen. They are subjected to wind and heat reflected off the building in addition to a restricted root area, roots exposed to periods of heat and cold, and, typically, periods of moisture stress. This is especially hard on evergreens because they lose moisture through their foliage all year long. It is possible that the tree dried out during the winter despite your best efforts. If this happened, it may brown and defoliate further. Evergreens are also subject to some pests and diseases that could cause defoliation. Unfortunately, based on your description, it is impossible to diagnose the problem with your tree. You might want to consult with your County Extension if the problem continues. In the meantime, keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet.

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