Forestry Commission logo
NEWS RELEASE No: 1672826 JUNE 2018

The Beast has blown our trees brown

The Beast has blown our trees brown Many residents have noticed patches of brown amongst the vibrant greens in Cumbria. The trees have not turned brown due to a disease but because of the severe weather earlier in the year.

Gareth Browning, Area Forester for the Forestry Commission in North Cumbria explains.

“Given the record breaking May Bank Holiday temperatures, most of us will have forgotten the Beast from the East that brought us cold, dry winds from Russia, but our forests and trees have not.

“Across Cumbria our forests are waking up with new, vivid lime greens and soft luscious leaves appearing every day. Whilst most of our trees were still dormant when the cold winds came in March some of our conifers, notably Douglas fir and Scots pine, had already started to wake up. Unfortunately once trees wake up they cannot go back to sleep again, whatever the weather brings.

“The Beast from the East brought us very cold and very dry winds. When they blew across the needles of trees including Douglas fir they dried the needles out. We call this process ‘wind burn’.

“With summer in full swing the brown trees may change colour to deep purple, sometimes even black as their needles dry out further. Some of the smaller trees may struggle on and survive yet some may die however the majority will recover over the next couple of years eventually joining the rest of the spring flush of vivid greens again.”


Notes to editor:
1. Whinlatter Forest and Dodd Wood in North Lakes are carefully managed by the Forestry Commission England.

2. Media Contact: Katherine Patterson, Marketing & Communications Manager North England. Email: