The top of this tree is dying

Asked April 22, 2019, 9:54 AM EDT

Unfortunately I can't identify this tree... maybe a spruce? The top of it is dying and I haven't found any bugs. It has been dying for a while. Could it be from the extreme winter a few years ago?

Prince George's County Maryland bagworms tree arborvitaae

4 Responses

This tree looks like an arborvitae. We notice that the tree has been subject to bagworms, (looks like little pine cones) an insect that can defoliate the tree. The top of the tree is heavily infested. It will not return to its former glory and we recommend removal. Here is our page on bagworms http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/bagworms-trees-and-shrubs

Marian

Wow, thanks so much!! I didn't see those little critters. Arborvitaes are corniferous, correct? What pest resistant corniferous tree would be a good replacement specimen?

You can replant with an arborvitae, if you want to. Just keep an eye out for bagworms in the future and take care of them right away, which usually just means pulling off and disposing of the bags when you spot them.

Alternatives could be some pyramidal hollies (tremendous variation in cultivars, so read tags carefully), junipers or chamaecyparis (also known as false cypress).

Ellen

You can replant with an arborvitae, if you want to. Just keep an eye out for bagworms in the future and take care of them right away, which usually just means pulling off and disposing of the bags when you spot them.

Alternatives could be some pyramidal hollies (tremendous variation in cultivars, so read tags carefully), junipers or chamaecyparis (also known as false cypress).

Ellen