Arborviatae problem

Asked May 18, 2020, 2:21 PM EDT

Hi! I was wondering if someone could help me identify the problem with my Arborviatae green giant tree. During late winter/early spring, we noticed it starting to turn yellow, followed by a gold color. Today I noticed some graying near the tips. The inside of it has some green and there are a few new green buds growing from the branches. But the overall outside appearance looks bad. I’m not sure if it’s dying or has a disease. I’m worried that if it does have a disease, it will spread to the other Arborviatae. Is there anything I can do to save it? Is there something I can do to protect the other ones? Any information will be greatly appreciated! Thanks! Karyn P

Washtenaw County Michigan

1 Response


Dying from the outer tips back indicates either too little water before the ground froze or frost damage. A combination of both can do this, too. Look at the slope of the bed to see if this shrub is higher and water is draining away from it. Dig into the roots to see if they are alive creamy white- or are brown mushy or dry and brittle? Is there any gnawing damage at the base of the trunk from voles or rabbits?

You can check several of the tips for arborvitae leafminer damage-

Please submit your pictures, along with information like when they were transplanted, how they were watered last fall, to the MSU Plant Diagnostic lab for their opinion. They may ask you more questions via email. Images with your information can be sent to