The Q&A Archives: Emerald Beauty Arborvitae

Question: I just purchased 6 Emerald Beauty Arborvitae plants and put them in the soil here in Chicago. The plants seem to be browning at the bottom. Is this normal? Is there anything I can do to help them. Its now October, and I was told this is a good time of year to plant these. Please help, I don't want these little plants to die. They are about 1-2 feet tall.

Answer: The condition you describe suggests a moisture/transplant problem. If the plants are turning brown only on the inside but the outside is green, that is normal. If the entire plant is turning brown from outside in and bottom to top, that suggests a transplanting problem due to poor watering or handling. I suspect watering. Watering newly transplanted plants needs to be done so the entire root ball gets moist. You may not have gotten the root ball moist, only the soil around it. Check to see by digging in and around the plant that the original root ball and soil are moist. If not place the hose by the plant and allow it to run slowly so the entire soil ball is moist and then move on. Water only when needed by digging a little around the plants and see how the soil moisture below grade is doing. If the plants are brown or a dull green I would not hold much hope for recovery as damage has been done to the roots and plants often don't recover. If the majority of the plant is green, corecting your watering practices should help it recover. Let's hope for the best!

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