Freshly planted arborvitae turning brown

Asked June 15, 2017, 9:03 AM EDT

I planted 15 8' Arborvitae last month. Now, a few of the branches are turning brown. I have been watering with a soaker hose every week, but my landscaper says I should do so everyday. I've been watering everyday for about a week. Concerned that I have damaged the plant with watering (over or under). At this point, should I be using a soaker hose for a couple hours once a week, or watering daily? The drainage should be okay since these trees replaced older Arborvitae that were severely damaged in the winter weather this year. Any advice appreciated. Thank you!

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for your question. Sorry about your arborvitae. There is no one quick answer. What you describe may be a watering problem, but it could be something else.

First, perhaps it doesn't need to be stated, but, it is importlant: it never matters how often you water. What does matter is how much you water. The water needs to reach and surround the plant's root zone. Do a test. How long does the soaker hose need to run for water to permeate the entire root zone? Does the soaker hose circle the plants? If not, part of the root zone may never get enough water.
Water is key to helping the plant acclimate to its new home.

Oregon State University Extension has a publication that speaks to issues of newly planted arborvitae. I think it will help you consider other things that may be affecting your arborvitae. Take at look at this link.

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/question-of-the-week/arborvitae-root-issues-should-we-dig-it

I hope this helps. Best of luck.