Sadly as the days start to warm up we are seeing more and more how the polar vortex has affected the landscape. Most notably are yews and boxwood and other smaller evergreens. If you have these plants in your yard you may have noticed that they are currently brown. But all is not lost.
A few things can cause this type of winter injury. The combination of wind, sun and lack of available water in winter can cause foliage to turn brown, due to desiccation. Evergreens lose moisture on sunny winter days. If the soil doesn’t contain enough moisture to replace the loss, needles dry out and turn brown (starting form the outside and moving inward). Even if the soil is moist sometimes the roots cannot absorb water due to the ground being frozen or the roots are damaged.
If your evergreens are close to a roadway you can also be experiencing salt damage which only exacerbates desiccation.
The best solution is to trim back the dead growth (which is mostly the last push of new growth from the year before) to where it is green again. Your shrubs may look a little defeated but after the spring flush of growth they will look good as new!