Winter Burn Damage
Image by Ohio State Extension

Winter Burn (image by Ohio State Extension)

Winter Scorch
Image by IA State Extension

Winter Burn

Winter Burn or Winter Scorch

Are the outsides of your pines turning brown? Damage appears on one branch, a few branches, or one side of the evergreen (usually the side facing prevailing winds). The damage is attributed to winter desiccation (also called winter burn, winter drying, or winter scorch). During the winter months, the roots of evergreens are not able to absorb water from the frozen soil. However, evergreen needles continue to lose moisture throughout the winter. Considerable water loss can occur on windy or sunny winter days. Damage occurs when the needles lose excessive amounts of moisture. Will the pine survive? How can this be prevented?

For more information on winter desiccation please go to


Susan Beebe
Assistant Director/ Agriculture Issue Leader
518-885-8995 ext. 2231

Last updated December 11, 2023