rjswiss
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:46 pm

Are my arborvitaes dying [or dead]?

So this past week I noticed that the arborvitaes that line my back fence were turning color. I did some reseach for the symptoms but the description of "a disease" doesnt match whats going on. [But highly possible I am missing something]. I also looked for insect larvae but I couldnt point out any - looked for grey spots, molding and split trunks but none of those seem to be an issue.

It seems the inner part of the tree is getting brown - the leaves inside the tree are brown (dead) and there are a few of them that are yellowing on the outer leaves.

I want to think it's because we had a 2 week dry spell with scortching heat while we were away - so of course it didnt get any water. Do you think that watering will bring them back healthy?

Please take a look at the pictures and try to help me out here. It would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You.
Inner leaves are dead (brown)
Inner leaves are dead (brown)
Outer leaves yellowing
Outer leaves yellowing
yellowing #2
yellowing #2
dying outer leaves
dying outer leaves
up close
up close
overall
overall

HoneyBerry
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Posts: 1124
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Are my arborvitaes dying [or dead]?

I have arborvitaes. Troubleshooting arborvitaes can be tricky. Too much water or too little water can cause what you describe. And there are other possibilities. I'm currently doing some research because I don't want my arborvitaes to die in this drought that we are having. I will post anything that I find that seems relevant to your situation. Your grass is green so the arborvitaes must be getting some water. I know from my research that they have shallow roots and that heat-drought damage can show up 2 years later. So you need to hurry up and figure out what's wrong or you might lose your arborvitaes altogether. Healthy plants have some brown needles on the inside and the outside leaves green. Your plants don't look healthy with the yellowing. The brown might be a bad sign or it might be normal.
ISFP "The Artist"

rjswiss
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:46 pm

Re: Are my arborvitaes dying [or dead]?

Thanks for the input Joy. If I find what is wrong - I will update this post with the solution.

HoneyBerry
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Posts: 1124
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Are my arborvitaes dying [or dead]?

Dead brown needles inside stuck in branches
Dead brown needles inside stuck in branches
I guess arborvitaes require maintenance. Apparently dead needles that fall off and accumulate inside the tree. The dead needles need to be cleaned out. The bottom half of my full grown arborvitaes are full of dead needles. They are not visible unless you pull back a branch and look inside. So today I cleaned some of them out of there. I have never done this before so it is long overdue. There is now a big pile of dead needles under the tree - on top of the beauty bark that I just put under the tree on Sunday. There are so many dead needles that I can't even see the beauty bark. My arborvitaes are healthy otherwise. So my suggestion for you is to start cleaning out the dead needles. Then try to figure out what is causing the yellowing. Best to wear gloves. I have a rash on the side of my face where the arborvitae touched my cheek when I was cleaning up underneath it. I used a 3 prong long handled dirt scratcher tool to clean out the old needles that are stuck in the branches. You can use your hands but be sure to wear gloves and something to cover your arms wouldn't be a bad idea.
Dead brown needles inside stuck in branches
Dead brown needles inside stuck in branches
Lots of dead needles fell out when I cleaned inside the tree
Lots of dead needles fell out when I cleaned inside the tree
ISFP "The Artist"

HoneyBerry
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Posts: 1124
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Are my arborvitaes dying [or dead]?

Spiders and moth lives inside arborvitaes, so you will dusturb them. I just spent a couple of hours cleaning out the dead needles inside one of my arborvitaes. There were lots of dead needles inside. I have over a dozen arborvitaes to clean uo so this clean up work is going to take a while. Here are some more pictures.
Lots of dead needles below tree after cleaning out the inside of the tree
Lots of dead needles below tree after cleaning out the inside of the tree
Tree on right was just cleaned. See all the dead needles that fell out?
Tree on right was just cleaned. See all the dead needles that fell out?
Tool that I am using
Tool that I am using
ISFP "The Artist"

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