Wind damaged arborvitae, how to save?

rgonyerJuly 29, 2008

It just seems like one thing after another this year!

We have a row of 25 nice healthy (well they were) arborvitae that create a nice privacy screen at the back of our lot. They have been planted around 8 years and are probably 12 to 15 ft tall if I had to guess.

We just had a huge bagworm problem taken care of so we were finally feeling good about the health of our trees when a HUGE windstorm came through and caused a lot of damage. We had a nice big pear tree snap off at the bottom, and lost about 70% of a huge willow. Our metro area had about 90,000 without power and didn't restore it all until over a week later if that gives you any idea!

Anyway, after cleaning up the yard, pear tree and willow tree, we though we were done. A couple of our Arborvitae were leaning a bit, but we figured it was no big deal. One is now leaning a lot, and some of the foilage on one side is starting to yellow. I wonder if some of the roots were damaaged, or are out of the ground.

Is there anything I can do to try to straighten and/or save this tree? I'd hate to start over with a few 5 footers in a row of 15 footers! :)

Thanks for any suggestions!


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Sorry, probably not. The storm likely broke some major roots underground (out of sight!), and the foliage is now dying as what intact roots it has left are not enough to keep it supplied. Straightening it won't rejoin the broken roots.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:54AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

any chance at some pix..


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:55AM
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I'll try to snap some pics tonight when I get home.... It's so frustrating to lose these things when they take so long to grow :(

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 12:31PM
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Here's a photo album with pictures. We got some rain last night, and it's not as yellow as it was, but it is still visible a little.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arborvitae Pictures

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 10:46AM
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Pics posted..... any advice?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 8:45PM
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I would put a post next to it and tie it straight,maybe even 2 if you have them.Mulch a couple of feet larger than the root tear.Let it that way for 2-3 yrs,It does'nt look real bad I've seen much worse.If some branches die cut them out,the tree should fill in the damaged spots.After a couple yr's you will hardly notice it.As long as you don,t get nail by any more storms.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 10:58PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Be sure to soak the soil well before trying to straighten it out.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:29AM
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Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a try. Any ideas on what to use for a stable "post" that would work for a tree this tall?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 4:33PM
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Steel T post will work just make sure you tie your rope as low to the ground as possible.Or you could use a earth anchor,it looks like a short auger that gets screwed into the ground they will hold tons of pressure.You can find them @ Home Depot, Menards or similar stores.One thing to keep in mind is use a piece of foam board insulation between the tree and rope so the rope does'nt damage the bark,rubber from a tire innertube will also work.You can probably find something laying around your workshop or basement,no need to spend alot of $$.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 7:46PM
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