root growth - Knowledgebase Question

Orland Park, Il
Question by executiveser
April 26, 2010
I planted emerald arbs over a year ago. The perimeter seems to be doing well but the interior branches are dry and breakable. What's causing this? Are they dying?

Answer from NGA
April 26, 2010


One of the features of this variety of arborvitae is that it retains a good green coloration through the winter, so although a slight color change might be seen it would not be browning like you are describing. Evergreens will periodically shed a portion of their very oldest foliage but whenever there is something unusual it is a good idea to look into it. With arborvitae there are pests such as mites which can cause browning (these can be treated with insecticidal soap during the growing season or with light horticultural oil during the dormant season) and also some fairly severe diseases which can cause browning. Over watering could also cause browning. (Although arborvitaes do well with a moist soil, once the fall season arrives with cooler temperatures your watering will be less frequent since the soil stays moister longer naturally in cooler weather.) Check for spidermites by looking for webbing where the foliage meets the stems. If you find them, spray with Insecticidal soap. To discourage the pests, periodically hose off your plants, directing a strong stream of water into the centers of the plants. Good luck with your shrubs.

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