This is Jason Lamb with your Gardening Minute.
Winter injury is a common problem here in New Mexico that most often effects pine trees. During the first week of January we had relatively high temperatures during the day at about 60 degree and then received below zero temperatures at night. This large temperature swing has affected our pine trees in here in Quay County.
Winter Injury is cause by the weather. Warm days followed by extremely cold nights freeze deep into the ground locking up available nutrients and moisture. Most trees will recover but not until spring.
Trees that show signs of winter injury have pliable branches on the new growth and the needles are brown and dying but the base of the needles are still green in color.
There is not much that home owners can do about Winter Injury. Water the tree around the dripline of the tree during these winter months about once a week. Don’t fertilize as it will do more damage to the tree at this time. Don’t prune off dead branches yet or cut down the tree because some of the trees will make it to the spring.
From more information about Winter Injury please contact us at the Cooperative Extension Office at 461-0562. This has been your Gardening Minute with Jason Lamb your Quay County Ag. Extension Agent. Where are programs are open to everyone.