What happened to these arborvitae?

Discussion in 'Fertilizers, Pesticides and Diseases' started by alldayrj, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Planted these for a customer before Memorial Day, he calls yesterday saying over the past two weeks some of them browned out. The nursery carries no warranty. I wrote him no warranty. I'm sure he will pay to replace but I want to give him a valid reason. I'm leaning towards under watering.
    Day they were installed
    They ones that are green seem to be doing well. Look taller etc.

    What gives?
  2. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    On the group pic, in the bottom right, should I be worried about those few brown leaves?
  3. TwoTinySprouts

    TwoTinySprouts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Looks like a watering/transplanting problem to me. You can try watering daily, but chances are the damage is already done to the rootball. Notice that its only one area of your flowered - and it looks like there's a retaining wall there, so the drainage would be much faster on that end. Those trees will need more water than the others.
  4. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,058

    Seems it could be several possibilities. Planted too deep or air pockets in the soil? Not enough water during the first few weeks of transplant? Too much rock mulch piled close to trunk and sun could cook them. Sometimes they get leaf miners too. The ones with a few spots here and there look like leaf miner but without a close up you can't tell. Not sure how much rain you've had there but Looks under watered to me. Let us know how you make out.
  5. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Water could be going downhill. Also water might not be making it down through the stone
  6. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    I'm trying to rule out install error since the same guy did them all and there seems to be a pattern in the death (high to low on the hill) so I don't think it's something that came from the nursery either.

    What do leaf miners look like?

    The homeowner is a haggler, maybe he just wants something for nothing. He added the stone after. And has been hand watering. No drip to the area (what I told him to do)

    Not much rain lately and July was hot.

    These were B and B trees FYI.

    Thanks for the help people
  7. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,058

    You can do a search and get a lot of info on leaf miners and spider mites on arborvitae. You should try to get a county extension agent to come out and look at it for free.
  8. Mjcurry3

    Mjcurry3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    That looks like spider mites.... 95 percent sure from your pics... You need to treat the rest ASAP or they will all be dead soon. Good luck.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Did you check the soil moisture in those rootballs??? Shrubs need a deep soaking in order to survive full sun and heat... if that is a South facing fence it is definitely going to be a challenge to keep arbs going... remember they are of the cedar family and cedar love swamps not hot stoney high ground...
  10. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,058

    I think you meant the Cypress family.

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