WSU Extension


Common Cultural : Desiccating wind
(revision date: 4/30/2013)

Dry, cold wind, usually from the north, results in desiccation (dehydration) of plant tissues. During periods when the soil is frozen, water movement slows or stops in plant tissue, enabling wind to dehydrate the foliage. Damage typically occurs on only one side of the plant. Symptoms (leaf scorch or death, branch or shoot tip dieback) may not be evident immediately after the damage occurs, but may appear some time later.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Place evergreens in areas that minimize their exposure to sun and wind. If this is not possible, provide shading or a windbreak during the winter months.
  • Water properly throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Check soil moisture for evergreens and plants under eaves, and water when necessary.
  • Select plants hardy for the local climate and soil conditions, especially native plants.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended

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Caption: Winter desiccation on rhododendron
Photo by: R. Maleike
Caption: Cedar damaged by desiccating wind
Photo by: R.S. Byther