dying arborvitae - Knowledgebase Question

Mentor, Oh
Avatar for kennyandkare
Question by kennyandkare
July 4, 2010
Several arborvitae have much brown dead branches on them. Still some green foliage.Can I trim the brown parts off? I have been fertilizing them. Will they ever bounce back or should I dig out and replace?

Answer from NGA
July 4, 2010
The older, inner leaves of arborvitae (Thuja) naturally turn brown and drop in the autumn (similar to the loss of leaves on deciduous trees). This shouldn't cause alarm, and does not indicate disease. If the tips of the branches are turning brown, look for infestations of spider mites (they leave tiny webbing between the junctions of the leaves and stems), or consider cultural problems such as over- or under-watering. Sometimes the leaf tips will turn brown because they've been exposed to sudden temperature changes. Give them about an inch of water every week, and prune off the brown tips to encourage healthy new green growth. I think when the root systems establish they will begin to thrive. Good luck with your arborvitaes.

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