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View Full Version : Arborvitae turning golden brown


wat5150
07-24-2012, 04:13 PM
I have 14 arborvitae(5 emerald green and 9 rocket hybrid cedars) on my property. They are used on the lawn border as a screen. Anyway 1 of the 5 emerald greens is turning brown. Its not the crispy dead brown but more like the golden brown they turn in the winter. It is defenitely struggling. I cant find any bug infestation. If it were an infestation or even a disease at least the others that it is touching would most likely be affected too. I looked really quick around the base of the tree and I cant find anything there either(like something burrowing or messing with the roots. Any ideas as to what this may be? Id really like to save it seeing as how they are all about 15ft high now. Replacing it would suck and would take a while before the new one ever caught up.

The Cleaning Doctor
07-24-2012, 05:10 PM
First thing that I would do NOW is water the heck out of it. Probably the weakest of all of them. Lay the hose there near the base and just let it trickle

dpld
07-24-2012, 05:30 PM
First thing that I would do NOW is water the heck out of it. Probably the weakest of all of them. Lay the hose there near the base and just let it trickle

if a emerald green arborvitae is golden brown, all the water on the planet is not gonna change a thing. it is dead.

how old is these plants? when were they planted? are there any hard surfaces like stone or concrete or ashpalt near by?

generally evergreens show the signs of damage well after the fact and by the time they look necrotic it is usually too late.

outside of damage from planting or transporting the most common pests are spider mites, red spider mites, leaf tip borer and bagworm.

unless you got the cacoons hanging off of it it is not the bagworm.

take a white piece of paper and go to the closest live one down from the dead one and shake the branch over the paper vigorously enough to knock off what little bugs were on it.
if you see some little tiny super small critters scurrying about then you got mites and if they are red you got red spider mites and if they are small and oval shaped then you got europhide mites.

all of which are very small and by small i mean the size of a grain of salt or sugar or even fine ground black pepper and a magnifying glass helps.

brian'slawncare
07-24-2012, 05:30 PM
I have 18 arborvitae around my pool. 12 emerald green and 5 spring grove. They all need watering for a good 10-15 minutes every week. That's the problem, lack of water...

Hedgemaster
07-24-2012, 05:32 PM
The only good arb is a dead arb. :p


I hope you can save it because it's a b1tch when you have to try and match one up when one dies, but damn, I hate those things. Once they get over 6' tall they are nothing but trouble.

I replaced several dead ones at a local business last year. I think there was some sort of worm that killed them. They were about ten feet tall and the tallest I could find to replace them was six foot.

:(

Hedgemaster
07-24-2012, 05:34 PM
if a emerald green arborvitae is golden brown, all the water on the planet is not gonna change a thing. it is dead.

how old is these plants? when were they planted? are there any hard surfaces like stone or concrete or ashpalt near by?

generally evergreens show the signs of damage well after the fact and by the time they look necrotic it is usually too late.

outside of damage from planting or transporting the most common pests are spider mites, red spider mites, leaf tip borer and bagworm.

unless you got the cacoons hanging off of it it is not the bagworm.

take a white piece of paper and go to the closest live one down from the dead one and shake the branch over the paper vigorously enough to knock off what little bugs were on it.
if you see some little tiny super small critters scurrying about then you got mites and if they are red you got red spider mites and if they are small and oval shaped then you got europhide mites.

all of which are very small and by small i mean the size of a grain of salt or sugar or even fine ground black pepper and a magnifying glass helps.


Is anyone else itchy now?

:eek:

Apex Lawn & Landscape
07-24-2012, 05:52 PM
Dpid nailed it...bagworms are in right now, just pulled 3 dead arbs from a property because of them. The white paper trick works. Hedge don't be so hard on the Arborvitea's ! They are huge money makers for us..I call them job security trees. Customers always want them planted, wether it be a single one or 14 for a natural fence...they are not hearty whatsoever...they always call back and need work on them, replaced or tied up, they aren't to expensive so they're a good double your money tree ( if your tight with your nursery). They get me goin each spring because of the beating they take during winter. Only thing I hate about them is the small cuts they leave when wrestling them.

Hedgemaster
07-24-2012, 06:01 PM
Dpid nailed it...bagworms are in right now, just pulled 3 dead arbs from a property because of them. The white paper trick works. Hedge don't be so hard on the Arborvitea's ! They are huge money makers for us..I call them job security trees. Customers always want them planted, wether it be a single one or 14 for a natural fence...they are not hearty whatsoever...they always call back and need work on them, replaced or tied up, they aren't to expensive so they're a good double your money tree ( if your tight with your nursery). They get me goin each spring because of the beating they take during winter. Only thing I hate about them is the small cuts they leave when wrestling them.


Oh, absolutely. They are a landscaper's pot 'O gold because they are HORRIBLE plants that don't hold up, yet everyone WANTS them. LOL!

Apex Lawn & Landscape
07-24-2012, 06:10 PM
Lol exactly! How was today in the Burgh? Mine was a complete bust! Started with rain delay..rain stopped , started a job edging & mulch..huge storm came through..had to pick my guy back up, drove to another area to start a shrub trim..huge paper hornets nest in a barberry bush, got lit up 5 times...so I decided to head home , load up the mowers and knock out 2 yards I've been putting off...get there and another crew is doing the mulch work, can't mow. So today I bought $200 in new tools..$60 in gas...$89 to my guy, and made $45 off my 1 yard that I cut lol..ah o well.. I don't have too many bad days so I'm not complaining . You know it's a bad day when the only thing you pull out of your pockets when arriving home are receipts!!

wat5150
07-24-2012, 06:30 PM
Totally disagree with them being horrible plants. These are almost 8 years old and never a problem and we do have some nasty winters up here. Anyway its the only one out of the bunch. The rest look awesome. Water is not the issue. I looked at it today. No spider mites that I could see. None fell off or showed up on paper. If it were a parasite I would think all of them would be getting it. Maybe its diseased but it touches the others. I would think if it is in contact with the ones right next to it the disease could be transferred??:confused:

xandrew245x
07-24-2012, 06:47 PM
I have about 10 of these lining my back yard and they are over 10 ft tall, I'm surprised they look so good with the lack of rain here.

wat5150
07-24-2012, 07:02 PM
If they are that big like mine then they have a pretty good established root system. That helps them survive drought.

dpld
07-24-2012, 07:20 PM
Totally disagree with them being horrible plants. These are almost 8 years old and never a problem and we do have some nasty winters up here. Anyway its the only one out of the bunch. The rest look awesome. Water is not the issue. I looked at it today. No spider mites that I could see. None fell off or showed up on paper. If it were a parasite I would think all of them would be getting it. Maybe its diseased but it touches the others. I would think if it is in contact with the ones right next to it the disease could be transferred??:confused:

if it were spider mites they would not be on it if it were yellow they would have long moved on to the fresh green ones next to it because if there is no chlorophyl in the leaves they will have no food source.

on the green one next to it see if they have little yellow tips on the ends of the foliage and if so look on the back side of the leaf and you should see a little black dot where the yellow tip meets the green, that will be arborvitae leaf minor it is not catystrophic to the plant and as i said check the live ones up stream for the mites and if it cooled down they will work their way back towards the interior of the tree and the paper test won't be effective until the heat of the day when the sun is baking it.

the hotter and drier it gets the mite populations skyrocket as well as are far more active and they generally will start at one end and work their way accross unless the problem existed for a couple seasons.

my first guess would be the plant at issue is the closest to the heat and by heat i also mean rocks patios and structures where the light reflects off of it as well as when the stone or structure heats up it gets hotter in the general area more so then if it were in the middle of a lawn.

from a disease perspective it could be a tip blight (phomopsis) but arborvitae is relatively resistant to it.
thats about it other then nutrient defficency.

wat5150
07-24-2012, 07:25 PM
Yeah. Its just strange. I guess it could have a deficiency that the others dont. The only other thing I can think of is some kind of root damage. I put a new perennial garden in near that line of trees. There were a few roots here and there but that tree isnt even the closest to that new garden so I doubt I affected any of its roots.

branchoutshrub
07-24-2012, 07:45 PM
Arborvitaes are wonderful trees/shrubs for hedges. Great money makers for us. Trimming and keeping them looking sharp is fun. Before and after pictures work well for us on selling our services. Plus there are some hard winters and occasionally some need to be replaced.