I have 5 arborvitae that I have planed on the south side of my home. I want...

Asked May 17, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT

I have 5 arborvitae that I have planed on the south side of my home. I want them to be a wind breaker. They are 2 ft tall. I covered them over the winter and they looked great. Over the past 2 months, the wind has been beating up against the trees and flattening them. I live across the street from corn/ bean fields. My trees were turning a gray color/yellowing and browning. We put a temp wall of burlap on the south side of them so the wind would stop beating them. The discoloring is mostly towards the bottom. I have been watering them regularly on a daily basis. I want them to survive. What should I do? Do I need to cut the browning stuff off? Is this from the fields being strayed and the over spray getting on my trees or is it the wind being too hard on them?

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response

If the plants are turning brown only on the inside and the outside is green that is normal. If the entire plant is turning brown from outside in and top to bottom that suggests a transplanting problem due to poor watering or handling. I suspect watering. Watering newly transplanted plants needs to be done so the entire root ball gets moist. you may not have gotten the root ball moist only the soil around it. Check to see by digging in and around the plant that the original root ball and soil are moist. If not place the hose by the plant and allow it to run slowly so the entire soil ball is moist and then move on. Water only when needed by digging a little around the plants and see how the soil moisture below grade is doing. The condition you describe suggests a moisture/transplant problem. If the plants are brown or a dull green I would not hold much hope for recovery as damage has been done to the roots and plants often don't recover. The grass looks healthy and I do not suspect spray.