these are 5' blue spruce. the homeowner is accusing me of damaging them. we never run the mowers into the branches. i always line trim under the drip line. i never tear into the branches as is alleged. what is causing the bottom branches to lose needles and turn brown. it is occurring up to 1' from the ground in spots. what might cause this? deer damage??? it has been very dry here for the last month. the h.o. says they water them regularly.