NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – You may have noticed this — evergreen trees in people’s yards dying. Sometimes while right next to ones that are green and alive.

“We went away on vacation, and our trees looked fine when we left,” explained Rich Fyhr from Thompson Station. “And when we came back, pretty much 50% of the trees looked like this. And we had no idea what it was.”

Taylor Reeder, the Williamson County Extension Agent met with News 2 to explain the problem.

“For the past month or so, we’ve gotten several calls a week from homeowners with evergreen trees that are fastly declining on their landscape,” Reeder said. “Most of the calls are about Arborvitae, which is what you see behind me here. And they’re one of our most popular evergreen screen trees.”

“What we can most likely correlate it back to is the drought that we had earlier this summer, the hot, extreme temperatures, lack of rainfall, most likely decimated these root systems,” Reeder explained. “And so, these trees weren’t able to bounce back as we wanted them to.”

So, why are there often dead evergreen trees right next to ones that are totally green and alive?

“We can only attribute that to potentially, maybe that tree was healthier in the beginning,” Reeder said. “Maybe it was planted a little bit better. Maybe for some reason, there is drainage going towards it, so when we do get a little bit of rainfall, or when you irrigate, water is running towards that tree and it’s getting more of it than the other trees in the landscape.”

So watering these types of trees can be essential when we are in hot and dry periods. But the main thing that the experts stress is to plant trees that are known to do well in our climate.

“With these evergreen trees like our Arborvitae and our Leyland Cyprus, they are not the best trees for our climate. So, when we do have these extreme fluctuations in temperatures and rainfall, they show the signs more so than some of our other trees.”

This is really surprising because they are some of the most common trees seen in people’s yards in the area, and they are commonly sold in almost all garden shops here.

It is recommended that before you do landscaping, you contact your local county extension agent. They will even visit your property and give you recommendations.

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Here is the list of County Extension Agents for the state of Tennessee.