dead/dying Arborvitae

Asked November 29, 2016, 1:59 PM EST

Hi there, in Salem, I am seeing lots of dead or dying arborvitae throughout town and in my own back yard. What's happening? In a row of many, there will be one or two plants with a nice brown shade of dead. Just within one season I have lost 6 plants and maore a not looking so good. The plants are maybe 25 yrs old. Thank you

Marion County Oregon trees and shrubs diagnosis of plant problems horticulture

1 Response

Autumn is the time of year that arborvitae leaves brown and shed. Typically these are older leaves. Part of fall clean up involves shaking the bush and raking out the dead leaves. However, it sounds like your problem is beyond the annual leaf drop. Arborvitae death now, could be a reflection of a tough growing season or seasons and a lack of water or a combination of factors. It could be arborvitae-root-rot. It could be a severe infestation of spider mites. It isn’t possible to give you a definitive answer to your question with the information provided. To get an exact diagnosis you will need to take a sample of the shrub branches and roots into your local extension office.