Care for emerald green arborvitae - Knowledgebase Question

Knoxville, Te
Question by wendhamm1
June 30, 2010
I live in East Tennessee and I recently planted 6 emerald green arborvitae trees (each came in a 7 gallon pot). They receive full sun and I'm watering them (deeply) every three days, but I'm noticing some brown branches (not many, but a few on each tree). I am wondering if I am doing something wrong- perhaps watering too much or too little? Thank you for any help.


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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If the color is poor on your emerald green arborvitaes in-spite of proper fertilization, I suspect the plants are getting too much water or the soil is remaining too moist for extended periods of time. The poor color is an indication of root stress. I'd water as usual then wait 3-4 days and dig down to see how moist the soil still is. If it is moist 2-3" beneath the soil surface, you won't need to water for another 3-4 days. If it is on the dry side, go ahead and water. If the irrigation system has changeable heads, reduce the size of the heads to reduce the amount of water your arborvitaes are getting. The emerald arborvitaes sound as though they are acting normally. Although they are considered evergreen, the oldest foliage does eventually die. That's the foliage on the inner part of the plant. You can reduce the appearance of this dieback by lightly pruning the plants each spring which will force growth behind the pruning cuts and will also encourage new growth at the ends of the branches. Together, all this new growth with make the shrubs fuller and greener throughout. Hope this helps and best wishes with your landscape!

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