Bare trunked arborvitae due to a fence put up by a neighbor.

Asked May 6, 2018, 8:19 PM EDT

Our neighbor erected a six foot high solid fence immediately adjacent to our arborvitae hedge. When they moved, the new neighbors started to remove the fence and we discovered that the surviving plants, the fencing had already caused the death of many of the plants, had lost all of the lower branches facing the fence. Our question is can we do anything to encourage regrowth on the lower portion of the arborvitae so the plants will look somewhat normal again or will we just have to live with them the way they are and plant something below them to camouflage the lower half of the plants?

Multnomah County Oregon arborvitae hedge

1 Response

Most conifers, arborvitae included, don’t put out new growth on branches which lack greenery. If nubbins of greenery remain, there’s a chance the currently empty space will eventually fill in.

So, you have several options. The top 3 that come to mind are to trim off the shaded out parts, then live with the bare-legged look; plant perennials or low shrubs which can hide the bareness; or replace the hedge.