Arborvitae trees

Asked July 30, 2019, 2:44 PM EDT

My arborvitae have suddenly started having ‘burn’ appearances on branches. My neighbor called it something (not sure what) but says it will kill the tree(s) (grouping of them) quickly...which I have noticed... he cut down one of the trees the other day due to how much it had been affected. Please help with a suggestion .

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response


Take a close look at the areas turning brown. This could be spider mites, scale, or a fungal issue. If the soil is very dry, this could be drought dieback, or a drowning issue if soil is soggy and never dries out.a recent spray of herbicide on another plant or to lawns may have drifted and caught some of the foliage- icheck for a pattern such as is the browning only on one side?

Here is a link with good close up pictures of some issues. Take a magnifying hand lens and compare your leaves-

If nothing is apparent, send branch samples consisting of a woody branch section, green, yellowing, and brown leaves to

The website has instructions and fee schedule. The lab can diagnose the branches and give you treatment options.

Another option is to hire a certified arborist, a professional who has taken training in care, diseases, pests and passed certification tests. He/she will come on site and give a complete diagnosis and a plant care plan. Find certified arborists by zip code here:

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