The Q&A Archives: The Outer Leaves Of A Newly Planted Emerald Arbovitae Are Turning Brown.

Question: I purchased emerald arborvitae from a nursery and had landscapers plant them about 3 weeks ago. They were green on outside but had brown on inner leaves. They get about 6 hours of sun a day. They have been watered every 3-4 days. They have mulch around them. Temps have been between 45-60 degrees. Now, I am getting patches of brown on outer leaves, mostly on bottom of plants. What am I doing wrong? How do I correct? Thanks.

Answer: Arborvitae will brown on the inside to some extent each fall, this is a natural occurrence. However, browning at the base can be an indication of root problems or improper planting and/or possibly in some cases overwatering. The goal of watering is to keep the soil evenly moist, not sopping wet. In cooler weather such as now, you may not need to water or in any case less frequently. The only way to tell is to dig below the mulch and into the soil and see, test it with your finger. Since these are newly installed, I would strongly suggest you consult immediately with the supplier and the installer and/or with your county extension to make sure nothing is truly amiss. Good luck with your arborvitae!

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