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Pilgrims' Pride
10-16-2002, 07:01 PM
Hey, I've got a quick question.

I have a customer who just put in a row of Arborvitae for a fence.

He wants me to "winterize" them and asked if I can spray dormant oil or antidessicant on them.

Will anti-dessicant hurt these plants?

Thanks in advance,

Bob

tremor
10-18-2002, 07:50 AM
Anti-desicants often do damage to arborvitae.
By retaining too much water, the plants own antifeeze becomes too dilute. Internal freeze damage appears as cracks & splits of the branches that may go unnoticed until they begin oozing sap from the wounds the following spring.
That said, I once treated a late planting at 50% of the labeled rate at the clients request. The landscape architect actually required it. We made the client sign a waiver absolving us from liability. LOL

If they've only just gone in, I'd "winterize" them with a mild natural organic like Sustane's Bolster biostimulant or Roots, and maybe a very light feed of a natural organic like Sustanes 4-6-4 or Roots 3-3-3. Neither will cause any damage even if overdone a little.
Then I'd make sure they're properly mulched & make arrangements to supply water over the winter a couple times or as needed. Watering in the winter is a bother, but the need is real if things are dry (as forecasted) & we always get a few days (around here at least) when the ground isn't frozen & can take the water. Just remember to "re-winterized" any sillcocks or hoses when the task is completed. I've been known to use 5 gallon pails drawn from the homeowners own supply on small jobs in the past. Just make sure the sillcock is drained down if it's not the new internally seated affair.

Check that all the burlap collars have been removed to a level that noe will stick out of the ground & become a wick. Burying them usually means the plant is too deep. Leaving them is inviting drought injury. Cut them off.

The most valuble service you can provide is a few well timed site visits to insure that the plants aren't getting frost heaved out of the ground & to check for soil moisture.
Various wind break materials could be utilized if the plants are in a very exposed location.
Arborvitae are pretty winter hardy & grow much further north than many of our popular plant species. Just watch "Emerald Green" for snow loading. The branches are very weak.

Steve