The Q&A Archives: Black Leaves On Arborvitae

Question: The bottom 2 feet of my arborvitae are black. I think my dog has been urinating on it. Would this cause blackening? If not what could it be? if so, what will get rid of it? How can I stop him from doing that? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Answer: Dog urine can certainly burn the foliage of your arborvitae, so if you suspect the plant is frequented by your dog, that's probably the cause of the dead foliage. Diseases can cause similar symptoms but diseases do not usually remain on the bottom 2-feet of foliage. Cut back the dead plant parts - new growth may appear from the trunk. If you can't train your dog to stay away from the arborvitae, try placing a temporary fence around the plant. Perhaps your dog will get out of the habit of urinating on the arborvitae when he finds he can't approach it!

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