The Q&A Archives: Rabbits Ate Leaves Off Newly Planted Arborviate

Question: Last Fall I planted Emerald Green Arborviate and during the
winter the rabbits chewed the leaves off the bottom half of
the trees down to the bark. Will the leaves grow back?
The rabbits seem to like newly planted items and tend to leave the existing plants alone.

Answer: Since these are young plants they may grow back, although it is not usually recommended to prune arborvitae so hard. Perhaps more of a concern would be any damage to the bark, because it may kill them if it is extensive or encircles the stem. In future you may want to take steps to protect the plants from the rabbits, or control the rabbits, as they can do a great deal of damage during a severe winter.

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