Help! Evergreen screen looking sickly. (photos included)

GardenGuyZone6a(6a)April 19, 2012

Hello all.

I have a tall screen of evergreens along the back property line. They are looking thin and off-color. I would love to rejuvenate them. I was thinking of putting down some Hollytone around the bases and watering it in, as well as the evergreen tree fert spikes. Anyone have experience with this?

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pineresin

Looks like a mix of arborvitae (most) and juniper (e.g. just left of the slide in the 2nd pic).

The thin crown is normal for a mature juniper, so you can't do anything to thicken it up.

The arborvitae might benefit from some lawn removal and mulch in the area less than 3-4m from the foliage, and if the lawn in that area has been heavily used, then also some soil decompaction as well. That will give them the opportunity to grow better root systems that will support a denser crown.

Forget the hollytone and fertiliser spikes, they're just an expensive waste of money.

Resin

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:50AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

GardenGuy, there is no way anyone can diagnose what might be the problem with your plants, if anything...from the images. Conifers can be prey to many different pest problems, for example, but identification of such things would take a close-up examination, not a distant picture.

Tree spikes, by the way, are one of the worst ways to fertilize. If these plants could benefit from fertilization (and we don't know that), a simple top dressing with a good granular fertilizer is as good as anything. By 'good' I don't mean overloaded with Nitrogen. If you fertilize your lawn, by the way, you don't need to add anything more to the trees. Weed and Feed types of products can harm woody trees and shrubs, something to think about.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 11:45AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

pshaw on fertilizing..

both lawns look like they are fertilized ... and given that those CONIFERs are twice as big below ground.. as above.. then they are getting enough of the lawn food.. PERIOD ...

the base problem.. with those conifers.. is that they are OLD ...

your basic premise.. restated is.. you want to make grandpa look like a 20 year old stud .. good luck with that.. lol .. there is nothing you can do in that regard ...

move the swingset over.. and plant 2 to 4 new conifers.. 5 feet into the lawn .. and when they get big enough.. figure out how to remove grandpa ... presuming the issue is hiding that white house behind ... in other words.. grow a new screen .. and then go with youth-in-asia on grandpa ...

ken

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 12:17PM
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GardenGuyZone6a(6a)

Great advice guys!

I'm going to find an arborvitae that grows tall and fill in the thin spot, planting it forward 4-5 feet.

So the concensus is that Hollytone at the base wont do much?

What about that deep root feeding I hear about where they inject liquid fert about a foot or so down?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 12:51PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i said ===>>>>

both lawns look like they are fertilized ... and given that those CONIFERs are twice as big below ground.. as above.. then they are getting enough of the lawn food.. PERIOD ...

SO WHAT WILL HOLLYTONE ADD??? .. the lawn fert is like 10 times stronger than the hollycarp ...

ken

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 1:35PM
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