1. November's sudden 50 degree drop did not allow the time needed for decidua (leaf) trees to go through the process called reverse sink. This is very important for the trees ability to store sugars and nutrients in their root system needed in the spring. As they call upon these reserves, this spring, they do not have the ability to put on adequate foliage. Evergreens develop a type of anti-freeze in their sap to stay green all winter; again this was not ready for that sudden freeze so we see browned out needles.
2. This spring has added to the stress by being so warm so early without adequate rains. Our water has just come on and the trees are suffering from two months of inadequate water. Combine this with these hot dry winds, which is defoliating trees just starting to put new leaves on, and we have a nasty combination to kill trees this year.
What to do?
Trees do not do anything fast, so reacting too late will not save them. The best action you can take is to get water on them using deep soaker hoses - and do it today!
The next thing is to NOT fertilize them with nitrogen. Nitrogen is for growth and they can not take the stress of trying to grow at this time. Thrive or Save A Tree; which I do as a deep root injection for about $5 for a tree like the above, feeds the mycorrhiza in the soil which then feeds the tree without putting stress on the trees.
DO NOT prune off what you think is dead at this time. It may still push out latent buds so you want to wait until June to make that decision.
Watch for insect attacks; insects attack weak trees to finish them off in a forest environment. But we want to save these trees, so if you feel sticky residue when walking under your trees (aphid indicator) or any other insect attack, let me know and we will address that immediately.
I am going as fast as I can to get the deep root injections done. The trees that we have been doing deep root tree care for three or more years now, show no signs of damage, because healthy trees were able to recover. You have to be pro-active to have healthy trees.
I am getting a lot of calls asking me to come out and look at their trees. Looking at them is not going to save them. The only options we have are the ones stated above. Get the water on them and use our watering information about trees that is on this blog. Then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the deep root tree feed list (minimum stop $39). The rest is dependent on how healthy the tree was before this stress hit.