Asked by: Zaray Robohm
home and garden landscaping

When should I replace my arborvitae?

Last Updated: 26th May, 2020

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Plant your new arborvitae in early spring for best results, but the adaptable shrub also handles early fall planting.

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Herein, how do I know if my arborvitae is dying?

If you expose the roots on your arborvitae they should be light-colored and healthy looking. If the roots are dark and friable they are damaged and won't function normally. You may also have a discolored area at the base of the trunk of the tree from Phytophthora fungus.

what can I use instead of arborvitae? There aren't many alternatives if you want to maintain an evergreen screen that resembles the arborvitae. Hetz columnar juniper and Medora juniper are possibilities. Junipers are slower growing than arborvitae. Japanese upright yew might also serve your purpose, but yews aren't drought tolerant.

Moreover, is it normal for arborvitae to turn brown in fall?

Arborvitae foliage turns brown naturally in winter, and inner branches drop. The outer foliage on arborvitae turns yellow-green or brown-green when temperatures drop in winter. At the same time, small inner branches turn brown and fall, which can make the trees look browner than normal.

Will arborvitae branches grow back?

On your arborvitae trees the upright shoots from the green parts of the horizontal branches will eventually grow out and up vertically to fill in the top open area of the arborvitae, but it will take several seasons to see . The cut-off top will not regrow.

Related Question Answers

Juaquina Santesmases

Professional

Will arborvitae grow back after turning brown?

Arborvitae branches whose foliage turns brown (entirely) due to winter burn may not come back, but there is no sense in being hasty about pruning (you never know), so hold off on pruning until well into the spring or even summer.

Najiya Ben Messaoud

Professional

Can I save my dying arborvitae?

Either way, once arborvitae branches die out like that, there's nothing you can do to bring them back to life. Your only hope is that there's still some life in the branches enough that some new shoots could poke out next spring. Don't prune off the apparently dead wood yet.

Iordache Paidoverov

Professional

Why are my newly planted arborvitae turning brown?

If a newly planted arborvitae develops brown leaves or twigs, the most likely cause is transplant shock, a condition that's caused by loss of roots when the plant was dug up -- it can last a year or two and might kill the plant if it's severe.

Bieito Balss

Explainer

Can a brown evergreen come back?

Whether needled or broadleafed, both evergreen trees and shrubs can look sickly and brown in spring, especially after a particularly cold or dry winter. Though there may be some branch loss, most brown evergreens do come back as spring progresses.

Azuzena Cuña

Explainer

How often should you water arborvitae?

Arborvitae will tolerate a moister soil than many evergreens, but they will "drown" if kept overly wet. Generally, the idea for newly planted shrubs is to water more often at the very beginning and then decrease it gradually so that watering about every five days to once a week is usually enough.

Ayoze Delplanque

Explainer

Do arborvitae have deep roots?

The major root depth of a large arborvitae variety can reach 18-24 inches deep, while roots of a smaller variety such as Emerald Green, reach 8 inches deep. Emerald Green is popular locally, it has a pyramidal form growing to height of 10-15 feet by 5 feet wide, making it much smaller than the species.

Launa Bakhvalov

Pundit

How do you prune arborvitae?

How to Trim Arborvitae Trees
  1. Prune arborvitae annually during the fall or winter months.
  2. Run an ungloved hand over and across the arborvitae, feeling for the dead zone.
  3. Remove damaged or diseased branches by cutting into the healthy wood 3 to 4 inches below the damaged or diseased wood.
  4. Step back from the arborvitae and examine the tree.

Nahima Haans

Pundit

How do you take care of arborvitae?

During the first year of growth, your arborvitae will need enough water to keep the soil moist but not wet. After this, you only need to water during very dry periods. When the weather is dry, provide enough water once a week to thoroughly soak the soil around the plant but not enough to leave standing water.

Elm Icart

Pundit

What is the best fertilizer for arborvitae?

Healthy arborvitae benefit most from annual fertilizer applied in early spring before new growth begins. Use slow-release, granular fertilizer with a higher first number, such as 12-6-4 or 10-8-6. Broadcast granules at a rate of one-third pound for each foot of the plant's height.

Agnese Helebrant

Pundit

How do you treat brown arborvitae?

What's behind die back, brown patches in arborvitaes?
  1. Prune the affected foliage to remove the unsightly tissue. Pruning allows more light in and stimulates growth of new foliage.
  2. Water regularly at the base of the plant during dry periods.
  3. Fertilize in spring to stimulate production of new foliage.

Dongping Vaysse

Pundit

Why is arborvitae brown on inside?

The browning of the inner foliage is probably due to seasonal needle drop. It's normal for evergreens (pine, spruce, fir, juniper, arborvitae, etc.) to shed their oldest (innermost) needles in fall. The innermost needles gradually turn yellow or brown and drop to the ground.

Herman Periñan

Teacher

Antelmo Tervoort

Teacher

Do Green Giants turn brown in winter?

Thuja green giant arborvitae turning brown is part of the plant's normal growth cycle, along with the browning of many arborvitae varieties, and often trees require no treatment. Although American arborvitae are evergreen, the trees' inner branches turn brown and drop during fall and winter.

Elvis Kaemmerling

Teacher

Why are my arborvitae thinning?

Arborvitaes that grow in poor or waterlogged soil, light shade or receive less than 1 inch of water per week are likely to produce thin, spindly growth. If you don't fix its cultural problems, no amount of pruning will fill your arborvitae out.

Lavina Dumont

Teacher

Do arborvitae shed in the fall?

"Needles of evergreens like junipers, pines or arborvitae shed their oldest leaves or needles in late summer or early autumn. Most pine trees drop their needles in the fall. Some species may drop needles at other times. The natural yellowing of the older needles occurs uniformly from the top to the bottom of the tree.

Huey Marfalho

Reviewer

Can an arborvitae be topped?

Arborvitaes do not need to be topped. Pruning the top off an arborvitae halts vertical growth and creates a large, unsightly area lacking green needles.

Yunying Daranas

Reviewer

How do you revive a brown evergreen?

The following will help you manage needlecast:
  1. Prune away dead branches, twigs, and infected areas of the tree.
  2. Remove fallen foliage and destroy it (burn it).
  3. Apply a fungicide to the tree after removing signs of the infection.
  4. Deep water the tree once per week to help it recover from the stress.

Kamelia Messaoudi

Reviewer

Do arborvitae attract mosquitoes?

Cedar hedges do not attract mosquitoes to your yards. While its effectiveness as a mosquito repellent is not proven, they aren't a proven attractant, either. If you see mosquitoes around your cedar hedges, they're attracted to the shade or trying to hide from predators.

Ayana Merchia

Reviewer

Can I plant arborvitae under pine trees?

It is really difficult to find things that will grow happily under pines. Not only is the soil acidic from the dropped needles but the shade they cast is dense and the soil will be dry. You might also try arborvitae 'Techny', which is the most shade tolerant of all Arborvitae cultivars.