What's wrong with my Arborvitaes?

mattypApril 26, 2013


I planted about 40 arborvitaes 2 years ago and all has been going well until this spring. I noticed on about 10 of them the tips are yellowing. I am assuming that they weren't getting enough water coming out of winter. It hasn;t really rained here on Long Island this past month. I just turned on the drip line thie past week after I noticed the yellowing tips. the soil was a bit dry but now it is moist, not muddy but a little damp. It's only been that way for the past week though.

Is it too late for these bushes? Or is this normal? Not all the bushes have it, only about 10 in a row.

I hope the picture show enough detail. I'll post another if it helps...


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Here's another photo. This is the worst bush. Has a large spot of the yellowing tips. The others are just scattered around as you can see in the first picture on the bush to the left...

This post was edited by mattyp on Fri, Apr 26, 13 at 10:07

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:06AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

just get some good pruning shears.. and snip out the brown dead parts ...

i dont see any yellowing ... might try an evening pic with better light.. but it sounds like normal spring growth ...

most likely.. just some winter damage.. probably complicated by heat and drought last year .. plus not being fully established after transplanting a large plant..

and no.. feeding them will not help.

but water management will.. insure they do not dry out.. in july/august ... and deep into fall ....


    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 3:59PM
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The pics show the yellowing tips. Not sure if I can get a better picture. I can try tonight.

Don;t know if it matters but the bushes with the yellowing saw the least amount of snowfall on them. they are kind of shaded by my neighbors hemlock.

So just make sure the soil isn't dry and keep it moist is best?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 4:51PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

many of the arbs.. flush out slightly yellow.. until the chlorophyll catches up ....

and i know.. from experience.. its very hard to capture.. short of a very good camera with a lens ... of which i dont have ...

just watch them ... and see if it continues into later spring.. or whether it greens up ...


    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 9:18AM
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Thanks Ken!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:15AM
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Your pics look like a water problem. You are right about the dry spell you had, they need to be watered during a dry spell real deeply, like putting a hose at the base of the tree and leaving it there for a nice deep watering. Are they mulched real good?
You mentioned they are planted right in front of hemlocks.
Are they the hemlocks on the other side of the fence?
Hemlocks get really big and have a really big wide root system.
They also LOVE water, and will get aggressive during a dry spell. The Hemlocks will be aggressive towards your newly planted arborvitaes, they look really close to each other.
Is there any way you could move the Arborvitaes in the fall?
Mabey find another place for some of them.
Watch them this summer, and if you notice a decline in your arborvitaes DESPITE you watering them deeply at least every 10 days without rain, the Hemlocks are probably your problem.
Wait til fall to move them though.
Good Luck with them!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 12:02AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Anyone think it's some kind of tip or twig blight? I dont think it changes any of the recommendations, since drought and winter stress can be causes, but it does make it a little more important to clip out the damage and keep a good mulch and watering program going....
The hemlock will always be a problem. I would go along the backside of the hedge and push a shovel blade down to sever some of the hemlock roots and give the arborvitae a chance to establish. Might help, might not :(

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 1:27PM
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Good day to all...Recently (1 month ago) we planted 10 young Technito Arborvitae. We planted according to Instruction & have watered the whole group 12-15 minutes every Friday. All the tree's are a lovely deep green with the exception of 2. The discoloration is on the outer shoot tips. The very end is brown, then yellow, then green (Please reference the photo). They are planted in a row 4 ft apart & are exposed to a mix part shade & part sun throughout the day...

Please advise & thanks in advance,

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Me again. Just wanted to include a pic of the actual tree with the discoloration. Again thanks for any clues or advice!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 3:42PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey suzy .. should have started your own post..next time anyway ...

curious that you say this:

We planted according to Instruction & have watered the whole group 12-15 minutes every Friday.

==>> that was the watering instructions.. ?????

dig hole and find out if the soil.. down in the root mass is wet or dry ... water accordingly ...

scheduled watering rarely is perfect.. it is usually guessing.. with no regard to mother nature...

did you amend the planting holes.. explain ...

what is your soil type...

potted or ball and burlap ...

how large a plant..

and any other facts about the situation .....

and.. they are conifers.. as well as trees.. but only in common parlance.. are they shrubs.. should you ever wish to prune them.. look up conifer pruning rules.. not shrub rules ...


    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 4:10PM
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