Emerald Arborvitae Hedge Plant Turning Brown - Knowledgebase Question

Golden Valley, MN
Avatar for robertson426
Question by robertson426
April 17, 2006
On May 19, 2004 we purchased three emerald arborvitae. Two of them look great while one of them is turning brown on one side. What can we do to nurse it back to a healthy Emerald color?

Answer from NGA
April 17, 2006
I'm sorry one of the plants isn't doing well. It's sometimes difficult to determine why seemingly identical plants in the same situation will perform differently. Since the others are thriving, I will assume that your watering, etc. is okay. Here are some other things to consider. Is that brown side facing more intense direct sun (southern or western exposure) than the others, or reflected sun & heat off a hardscape surface such as driveway or wall? Was salt applied to a road surface, that splashed up on the plant? Is there any chance that it received overspray from herbicide or pesticide spraying in the neighborhood? Any chance the roots were damaged during transplant? Is the soil compacted, i.e., a vehicle driven nearby? Is there an obstruction that would prevent the roots from expanding? Was it overfertilized, which can burn roots and cause dieback? I would not recommend fertilizing at this point. Fertilizer "forces" a plant to grow, which can be stressful if it is already suffering from other problems. Be sure that the plant is receiving sufficient water, but not standing in overly moist soil, which can rot roots. I hope this info helps.

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