Emerald green arborvitae turning yellow

swaggyJuly 14, 2010

We moved into a new house last December and had about 40 emerald green arborvitaes planted in our backyard for privacy in the spring. They are mostly 3-4 ft tall and many of them are continually turning yellow. I've been watering them daily first two months and about twice a week now. At first I thought they were turning yellow from the move and would eventually recover but it's been at least 3 months now and I am still seeing new yellow spots on many of them. My lawn care guy said it's due to broken foliage but they've been in place for several months and I am still seeing new yellow spots here and there. One thing I noticed is cobwebs on many of them, not sure if this is related. Appreciate any suggestions you may have.

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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Watering for 1/2 an hour twice or once a week with soaker hose(s) is what is needed for 3-4' plants. If the other yellow recovered, then I wouldn't worry about any new spots.

As is a cliche among gardeners, you're killing them with too much love... not sure where you live or what soil type you have, but still twice a week during heat waves and once a week otherwise (if no heavy rains) is your ticket to freedom from this scene. You could time your watering by drinking two frothy Sierra Nevada beers.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 7:45AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

a pic would sure help

interior yellowing is normal .... part of transplant shock ...

branches damaged from transplant is also likely ....

but the issue is all in the terminal growth ... how are the growth points doing... are they properly green and growing?

again .. some pix would sure help define the issue


    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 9:57AM
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Thanks for the reply guys. I am in western MA and the soil in my backyard is somewhat sandy. As far as growth, I see they are growing steadily, I can tell the difference. Here are some pictures...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 2:27PM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Typical of Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' - Emerald Green.

Nothing serious here. Just cut the dead out...water as Dax says.

I don't know where you live but heavy snow loads will destroy them. Also if relative to your area Bag Worms love them.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 2:59PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

My lawn care guy said it's due to broken foliage...


he is a pretty smart guy ....

they were either damaged in shipping ... to the seller.. or shipping to your house... or by the planting ....

it is irrelevant .... cant impress that any more ...

get some good pruners... just track down the stem.. and snip it out ....

first pic.. i would prefer to see the grass removed.. and a mulch ring of at least one foot in excess of the plant..

and you should be all set ...

make sure they are deeply watered late into the fall ... but not frozen into a root zone ice cube if you live where the ground freezes ...

EXPECT some interior browing or yellowing this fall ... and perhaps next year.. ENTIRELY normal .... and increased by the planting and shipping ...

frankly.. they look wonderful .. QUIT WORRYING ABOUT THEM..

keep them well watered.. and by a year from now.. next fall.. they should be free range ...


    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 3:50PM
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Thanks for the reply. Could the cobwebs and slugs (I've seen a few on the ground around them) be related to Bag Worms? Also, I assume I should wait until fall before cutting anything off to avoid drying out the tree from the summer heat?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 3:53PM
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