Thuja occidentalis wintergreen arborvitae

Asked October 23, 2015, 2:22 PM EDT

Is my tree going to die? Anything I can do to help it survive? It looks dry and brown on top. When this happens I feel like it hard to get it back. I feel I water pretty well and I read these trees can handle filtered sun light with some shade,which is what it is exposed to. They were planted last fall. Thank you very much.

Bergen County New Jersey

1 Response

Your photos were not that clear. Since the trees were planted last fall you are most likely dealing with a cultural and/or environmental problem. The browning on some of the the tips of the branches looks like pine cones. Also, The top dieback on one of the trees looks like a root issue, most likely not enough moisture. Watering - If the plants were root bound and the roots were not disturbed before planting, your watering technique may not be able to penetrate the root ball. You may need a hose to water deeply to penetrate the root ball. Probe with a screwdriver and check. You can check soil moisture of newly planted trees and shrubs at least once a week. Soil that is moist or damp to the touch is fine. If the soil begins to dry out, water the plant thoroughly. Do not overwater; however, you can easily drown newly planted trees and shrubs through too much tender loving care with the hose.
It looks like the trees are growing in some shade and planted closely together. They will most likely grow at a slower rate as they are competing for moisture and nutrients. Keep the trees watered up until the ground freezes. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base. Monitor the tree for additional symptoms.