Re: Dying Arborvitae

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Posted by mike on July 03, 2003 at 20:20:23:

In Reply to: Dying Arborvitae posted by Kev on June 28, 2003 at 10:02:54:

: We have approx. 30 arborvitae trees, 25'-35' tall that are dying from the bottom up & inside to outside. Dead, brown needles start at bottom of plant and reaches out along the branches. Can't see bore holes or bugs. Maybe a slight canker on some branch base spots on trunk; but not everywhere. This beautiful wall of arborvitae trees blocks out neighbor and street traffic. Please share any knowledge or help to save these trees. The are tall, graceful and purposeful. We tried local hort. companies, lawn spraying companies,govern. extension offices with no answers yet. Looking for ways to stop the spread of whatever is killing them. Any ideas?????

Hi. Leaf browning is normal for any coniferous evergreen--like the way deciduous trees lose their leaves in fall. This browning occurs in the exact way which you describe, "Dead, brown needles start at bottom of plant and reaches out along the branches". Unless the trees look weak and the entire plant starts to become brown, water every plant deeply. Otherwise read on.

Arborvitae are susceptible to root nematodes and root rot. If the trees are stunted while the twigs and then larger branches begin to die, then you may have nematodes. I doubt it. The plant may have root rot which is a fungus that destroys roots. These problems are untreatable.

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