Arborvite turning brown in areas

Asked August 25, 2020, 11:05 AM EDT

I have an arborvite getting brown spots. Can you tell me why this is occurring? I have one on each side of it and they aren't turning.

Madison County Kentucky

4 Responses

Hi. When did it start turning brown? Is that downspout just to the right of the one turning brown? Could you send me a photo further out so i can see a fuller picture of the landscape.
Please email me at amanda.sears@uky.edu.

Oh and i forgot. What direction is that shrub facing?

It is facing the east. Attached is a pic of the one nestled between two other arborvites which seem to be fine.


i had a lot of arborvitae questions earlier in the spring showing similar symptoms. The brown areas of almost all the trees i saw were due to environmental factors. weather primarily. I talked to plant pathologist about it in spring when i was getting so many questions about it. They said it was due to the drought we had last year. It was especially prominent in areas where the trees were growing in soils that were marginal or heavy clay, which would be common so close to a home.
The other option would be winter damage. Although we didnt have a bad winter, the winter winds can dessicate the needles of evergreens. And if the tree was dry going into winter, the more likely the dessication would be to occur.