The Q&A Archives: arborvitaes in trouble

Question: I have arborvitaes that have never seemed to recover from what appeared to be wind damage of last year?s winter. Web surfing suggested I may have one of several possibilities from blight to leaf miner. I have sprayed several applications of Isotox and sprinkled Systemic on the ground over the course of summer but seem to have made little to no progress. Since these shrubs are 25 years old I do not want to loose them and am hoping you might have a few suggestions?

Answer: Unfortunately, based on your description I am not able to tell you what is wrong with your arborvitaes. Spraying without having a specific diagnosis is very often ineffective -- many problems must be treated with a particular product at a specific time of year or stage of development for the treatment to do any good. I would strongly suggest you consult with your local county extension for help in identifying the problem. Then, knowing that, they can help you determine how to help them along. If it is something that needs a chemical control they will be able to tell you specifically what to use and how/when to apply it. They should also be able to help you analyze the growing location to try to troubleshoot any possible contributing environmental cause, or see if there is anything you can do to "baby" them a little while they recover. Best of luck with your arborvitaes!

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