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Home > Diseases > Trees and Shrubs > Other Problems of Trees and Shrubs

Other Problems of Trees and Shrubs

Leaf Scorch/Sunscald

leaf scorch on aspen leaves with leaf scorch leaf scorch on oak
Leaf scorch is a result of stress on the plant. This can be caused by a number of factors, including soil compaction, chemical injury, poor soil, unfavorable weather conditions (such as drought) or limited room for root growth. Symptoms include yellowing and/or darkening of tissues between the main leaf veins or along the leaf margins.

Winter Drying

pine trees with winter drying damage trees dead due to winter drying close-up of pine with winter drying damage
Winter desiccation occurs when winter sun and wind cause excessive water loss from the twigs and leaves, while roots in frozen soil are unable to replace it. The problem is most often associated with evergreens.

Salt Damage

pine trees with salt damage shrubs with salt damage tree with salt damage
Salt damage occurs in three ways: 1) Salt sprayed directly on the plant makes the plant lose cold hardiness and become susceptible to freezing; 2) Salt accumulation in the soil absorbs water, making it unavailable to plants; and 3) Chloride ions are absorbed by the roots, transported to the leaves, and accumulate there to toxic levels - it is these toxic levels that cause the characteristic marginal leaf scorch. Evergreens are particularly sensitive to salt damage.

Natural Fall Conifer Needle Drop

pines showing natural fall conifer needle drop close-up of pine showing natural fall conifer needle drop close-up of cedar showing natural fall conifer needle drop
Needles of conifers have varying life spans–eventually they will turn brown, and fall off, just not all at once like deciduous trees. Typically white pine needles live for three years, which means that each year 1/3 of a trees needles will die. Spruce trees generally hold their needles for 5-7 years.

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[Photos, left to right: William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International, Bugwood.org; Mike Schomaker, Colorado State Forest Service, Bugwood.org; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Archive, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org; Linda Haugen, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org; Purdue University Extension; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Archive, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org; University of Minnesota Extension; Joseph LaForest, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org; William Jacobi, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org; Purdue University Plant and Pest Digital Library Project; Purdue University Plant and Pest Digital Library Project; Iowa State University of Science and Technology]

 
It is the policy of the State of Maine to minimize reliance on pesticides. The Maine Department of Agriculture and the Maine IPM Council encourage everyone to practice integrated pest management and to use pesticides only as a last resort. The mention of pesticides in the fact sheets linked to these pages does not imply an endorsement of any product. Be sure that any product used is currently registered and follow all label directions.