ARBORVITAE TURNING BROWN IN SC.
i HAVE TWO 18 FT. ARBORVITAES ALONG THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE, WITH NO COMPETING PLANTS. I'M IN SC. WE HAD A PARTICULARLY HARSH WINTER WITH SEVERAL NIGHTS IN THE TEENS. NO SNOW. IT'S IN THE 90'S AND 100'S NOW, AND QUITE A FEW OF THE BRANCHES ARE TURNING BROWN, WITH QUITE A BIT OF NEEDLES FALLING TO THE GROUND. NOT SURE IF THIS IS A CASE OF THE 1 WEEK OF EXTREME TEMPERATURES, OR A LACK OF PROPER FERTILIZER, OR SOME KIND OF DISEASE. ALSO, IF YOU CUT AN ARBORVITAE OFF AT THE TOP,WILL THAT HELP TO SPUR GROWTH, OR WILL IT KILL THE TREE? TIA, dAN MAHONEY
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Unless you know that the type you have is tolerant of this pruning i would advise against it. The harsh winter is likely the cause, and it can recover, but it may need help. They can be left exposed to fungal infection upon these conditions, especially with wet conditions. I would recommend adding wettable sulfur to the areas around the affected plants. This will kill off any infection, and help the tree to recover.