Can these trees be saved?

Steve Held
by Steve Held
Hi, I am wondering if there are any arborists out there who can help me. We have had a drought this year, and some of my Arbor Vitaes have turned brown. Are they lost forever? If not, what can I do to save them?
q can these trees be saved, gardening
q can these trees be saved, gardening
q can these trees be saved, gardening
q can these trees be saved, gardening
q can these trees be saved, gardening
  15 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Aug 08, 2012
    If the drought were too blame, Steve, I'm not sure why only some of your trees would be affected. Check at the base of your trees and see if there is any sign that rodents may have girdled the trees. Poke around the roots and make sure it looks like they are spreading out. And lightly nick the bark and see if you see any sign of green.

  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Aug 08, 2012
    The brown ones are goners. In my experience it only takes drying out the root ball one time during establishment for these evergreens to perish. After that time they are very tough.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Aug 08, 2012
    Are these protected from deer?...Arbor Vitae is like Crack Cocaine to them...a few nibbles too close the the stem and it can wreak havoc in no time.

  • April April on Aug 08, 2012
    Steve - I know how you feel as mine too are starting to look like that, and they're the same age as the house. I asked a similar question not too long ago, and was given a lot of helpful tips. One of them was to check your state arborist association, which for your state would be: - from that site it'll refer you to local Arborists. I'm glad you're already getting help here. Hope this helps... Keep us updated. :)

  • Judy Judy on Aug 10, 2013
    There is also a worm that loves the Arbor Vitae...look real close and you may see signs of them they will literally destroy the whole bush if let go, we lost two mature Arbor Vitae to them and then they started on the Alberta Spruce..sprayed them with Malathion faithfully and finally eliminated them...they like dry weather..

  • April April on Aug 11, 2013
    @Judy - Wow! Is it a worm or millipedes? As we've been getting a ton of millipedes inside the house and some of them are suspiciously coming from the bedroom windows which is right where the bushes are.

  • Judy Judy on Aug 11, 2013
    Looked like a small worm to me and they have small cocoons if you look at the bush close and they kind of roll the tips of the leaves around into the cocoon...if you don't look at the bush close it is hard to detect them..until they have killed a good size portion of the arborvitae

  • Judy Judy on Aug 11, 2013
    Hi April, I just looked them up and they are a type of bag can google worm that attacks arborvite's and it should find a site of what they do to evergreens.. Including arborvite

  • April April on Aug 12, 2013
    @Judy - Ah! Okay. I remember someone mentioning that in my post awhile back. I'm sorry to hear about what happened to yours. :( I don't see any evidence of bagworms on mine though. So I'm guessing it might be a fungal issue? Or the weather we've been having over the past few years with drought and lots of rain. Thanks for reminding me, though! :)

  • Judy Judy on Aug 12, 2013
    No problem, that is what these bag worms like, they don't look like the worms that you see in the big white bags...they are different..and they love dry weather..hope you can find out what is wrong with yours

  • Judy Judy on Aug 12, 2013
    It could also be a mite...take a piece of white paper and hold it under a couple of branches and tap the branches, if you have mites there will be black specks on the paper..

  • April April on Aug 13, 2013
    @Judy - That's true! Most bugs do tend to love heat and humidity - especially kinds like those - I would think. Ah, thanks for the suggestion, too! The reason I had said fungal, is because I thought I saw some green stuff growing on the branches themselves. :(

  • Judy Judy on Aug 13, 2013
    It could be, the only experience I have had with evergreens is the weird bag worm and when we lived in Indiana the mites killed some of our pine trees...

  • April April on Aug 13, 2013
    @Judy - Wow, that's too bad. We've already lost one to whatever it is, too. :(

  • Darla Darla on Sep 01, 2013
    I have lost 3 this year, they looked exactly like this- for a very short time webbing like a stretched cocoon was visible I spray them all when I saw that but lost 3 anyways- the ones on either side are fine though.