Arborvitae browning question

Asked September 16, 2017, 8:02 PM EDT

Hi, We've got four arborvitae in our backyard, and one is browning decidedly more than the others. I'm wondering if this is normal at this time of year, or if there is something else going on?

Hennepin County Minnesota

3 Responses

The tree with the browning looks water stressed. It is not as dense or tall as the other tree. Its location may be giving it more sun than the other arborvitae.
Arborvitae also make male and female cones on the same tree. Female cones are more conspicous than a male cones. The female cones seem abundant on the tree that is showing the browning and much of the browning is actually a cone. I would check how dry the soil is under the tree and water if the top two inches are dry. Trees do best with an inch of water per week either from rain or supplemental from a hose.

Thank you. So, should I take that to mean that if we are a little more diligent about watering that one that it will eventually "recover"?

If it gets enough water it will recover and catch up to the others. Be sure to check soil moisture before watering. Too much water can be worse than not enough. Be sure to water your trees until the ground freezes. This will keep them healthy through the winter.