Emerald Green Arborvitae

Thuja1766(7)July 21, 2014

Hi all, I'm a total newbie to the green thumb experience.

I transplanted 34 Emerald Green Arborvitae last fall and everything has been going great up until the last 3 weeks or so. Originally the trees were growing in clay soil and I transplanted them into dirt with more rocks than I would care for.
Some of the trees are doing great and a few not so great.

I have spread fertilizer around the base and I water them with two soaker hoses (1 on each side) and a sprinkler.

The problem as you can see in the picture is that they are browning from the top down. I have looked on line and can't seem to find any info for browning from the top down. In the first picture the two trees on the left were a bright green and the tree on the far right had a brown top. Now it's starting to swing the other way. The far right is coming back and the two on the left are starting to brown.

Could it be the fertilizer is burning it or are they still not getting enough water?

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When you do mass trans plantings always figure you will loose some.

Never add amendments/fertilizer to new transplants

It screws their thinking process up.

A good rule of thumb on how to not over water.

Insert index finger down to second knuckle. If dry trickle water until planting hole is wet clear through Let soil dry out again using the index finger to test for dryness then repeat watering process if dry. Do this for a year on new transplants.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 4:57PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

dig a small hole with a hand trowel.. and FIND OUT soil moisture ... we can not really tell you if your soil is moist ...

tis transplant shock .. and improper watering. ..

its is not surprising it 'showed' .. when the heat of summer is building ... of course.. i dont know where you are ???

i would not have fert'd ... but unless you put down waaayyy tttoooo much .. i doubt it has anything to do with it ...

i am not much of a fan of cheap soaker hoses.. especially on a long run ... and chance these are at the end of the hose???

i dont get whats going on with the wall behind.. and the board in front ... i hope you dont have a plan of burying these things a foot or two deeper as that project develops????

more info please


ps: absolutely nothing wrong with rocks in soil.. its drainage.. and trees love drainage ...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 5:01PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

between my answer and daves..

is whether you soil is friable enough.. to stick your finger in deep enough ... to find out ...

by this time of summer... you will not do that in my sand ... unless heavily mulched.. and yours isnt .... at this point ..


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 6:11PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

What are the numbers on the fertilizer and how much did you put down? Looks like too much. Almost any is too much for newly planted trees. I don't use any. However, I see you have thin, rapid draining soil like found in many parts of the Puget Sound basin, so some fertilizer might be called for in the future for your Emeralds.
Gently dig down around the rootballs and see and feel the moisture content on a regular basis until you know your conditions well.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 7:13PM
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The blocks are part of a retaining wall I am building and the board on the back side is the height of where the dirt will be in the future. On the west side of the wall the dirt is too high and on the east side it's too low. I was trying to get the wall completed and the dirt leveled out before the trees showed up but a few things came and stalled the project. I will check on the soil wetness condition and check back.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 2:24PM
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A little update. Digging at an angle, I tried the trowel trick before heading off to work yesterday. A trowel will not touch that dirt. I had to get a shovel. I wasnâÂÂt kidding when I mentioned that the dirt is really rocky. ItâÂÂs pretty hard stuff to dig into, and thinking back, I had to use a pick axe when I originally planted the trees.

Digging a small hole next to the root ball it looks like the soil was damp. Is there a word that is less than damp? Anyway, the top two inches of dirt looks like it is old beauty bark and after that the dirt turns to a tannish color. ItâÂÂs not clay, it is dirt but there is a lot of rock in it.

On another note, spraying water on the top layer of dirt the water just runs off of it until it gets pretty wet. Also, I filled the small holes that I had dug with the shovel with water to see how fast the water would drain and it took a good minute before it drained. I donâÂÂt know if this is a good thing or not.

I have included another picture (hopefully you can see it good enough) before the retaining wall went up to give you an idea of the dirt I am dealing with.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 5:01AM
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