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Arborvitae nygra, yellowing in the middle

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Frank, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. Frank

    Frank LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    I planted 80 6-7 ft Arborvitae Nygra a month ago. They are starting to yellow and shed there leaves in the middle. They are planted with the top of the ball level with the soil, and the soil conditions seem to be good. they are not over watered or under. Can someone give any ideas on some problems to what it mite be.
  2. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,384

    Well I was going to say too much water. But you said they dont get over waterd
  3. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    Any chance you, or a neighbor, applied a selective pesticide to the lawn?

  4. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    Are all 80 showing the same symptoms, or just a few in select groups along the row? Arbs generally do well in about any soil, but were these B&B's or containerized?That's a lot of $$ to lose in one clip, maybe post a pic of the discoloration / thinning . I'm sure with everyone's input here, it will get figured out for you..
  5. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    Arborvitae are sensitive to selective herbicides, especially ones which contain 2,4 D. Fall application of this product is recommended for weed control. Often people who use a commercial application service don't even know it's been applied.

    The symptoms you described sound to me like herbicide damage.

    Best of luck,
  6. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793

    The trees although planted at the top of the ball may be planted too deep
    as the flare may have been below the top of the ball a few inches.
    This often happens,you should look for the flare before planting the tree
    and be sure that the flare is level with the ground.

    Trees that are planted too deep will show the symptoms that you describe.
    They often hold too much water and deprive the tree of the oxygen it needs
    thus turning the tree yellow.

    The problem seems to be abiotic ( caused by a non-living organism)
    Root rot fits this description.

    I would take 1 of the trees up and look at the root system,this will give you a clue to the problem.

  7. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    If it is just the middle and less than 30%, I would suggest that it is because it is fall. Each fall they lose their older "leaves". When they are freshly planted near this time of year, it sometimes accelerates the process. Look around to see if you see signs of this with other arbs in your area.
    GreenMonster likes this.
  8. hoyboy

    hoyboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from Chicago
    Posts: 346

    I've seen arborvitae do this many times. Most often they come out of it just fine, as long as it is contained to the middle of the tree. Usually the customer requires more comforting than the arborvitae. Try to manually remove the dead out of the middle.

    Also, make sure the watering is correct. They prefer a good, infrequent, drenching instead of a daily light watering.

  9. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    My first thought was in agreement with AGLA.

    When you say "middle" are you meaning 3' up from the ground, or are you meaning the middle of the tree on the inside? I.e. the interior foliage...

    Many pines are currently losing their 3 year needles around here. I'd tend to think that even if all 80 were planted somewhat too low, at least a couple of them would look fine. It's either just that time of year (most likely), or herbicide damage...

    GreenMonster likes this.
  10. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    Good call, AGLA & D Felix. This link link
    indicates that the symptoms are normal fall behavior.

    Good luck,

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