Brown Arborvitaes

Asked July 27, 2020, 2:42 PM EDT

Hi, I’m wondering if you can help me with what to do with a Arborvitae‘s. We planted twelve 4 foot arborvitae‘s in the spring at the same time that we planted new grass. After about a month I noticed some were turning brown and I googled it and assumed they were getting too much water because we were watering the new grass three times a day. Since then we have cut down on watering but I’m afraid they are damaged beyond repair. Some have a little green left and some of the greener ones have some brown on them. Will we be able to save them? How should we care for them going forward? 7 out of 12 seem to be dying. I will attach some photos, we are on the east side of Lake Brophy in Alexandria. The area has mostly shade but part sun. We Would appreciate any advicE you could give us. Thanks so much, Lou Ann Marks

Douglas County Minnesota

1 Response

It is difficult to tell from the photo why this happened. But too much water is certainly a possibility, especially if the soil is not well-drained. In any case, I hope you saved your receipts, because I see at least 3 plants that won't survive.

As for taking care of the remaining plants, you can trim out dead tissue. Water when appropriate. I'd also cover with burlap in December and remove the cover in early April. This is to protect them from winter burning.

In the future, if you decide to replant, first get a soil test done to get an idea of your soil texture:

You might also want to do a drainage test:

Read here about transplant shock:

And here about how to plant shrubs: