B. Rosie Lerner, Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist
Although this was one of the mildest winters I can recall, evergreens are likely showing symptoms of winter dessication. Despite the mild weather, this winter was particularly dry in most areas of the state, up until mid to late January. Broadleaved evergreens such as rhododendrons have a greater surface area through which to lose water compared to deciduous plants making them particularly susceptible to injury. Broad-leaved evergreens that have suffered from winter dessication typically have beige to brown leaf edges that are curled. Severe drying will be obvious as dead twigs and buds as spring growth fully develops. Some twigs will leaf out in spring only to die back later in summer as heat stress sets in.
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Last updated: 24 April 2002/tlm.
The Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University.