what to do about snow damaged arborvitae

growingadviceNovember 14, 2011

I have 50 6ft arborvitaes that sort of opened down the center like a flower due to the snow we had in western MA.

None of them broke, but they seem to need help to get them together.

I guy I know mentioned 24in zip ties to put them up. Sounds reasonable to me, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

let me know if you have better suggestions.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

You can do that but I don't think the ty-wraps aka zip ties would stay put. Appearance wise they would look terrible

A better option would be to go to your local hardware store and buy a roll of green twine. Ace/Westlake carry it.

Wrap them with the twine to pull everything back in. You might have to drive a 3/8/1/2 stake centered on the conifer to stabilize it for a time. You will know.

What are the arborvitaes? Apparently they have multiple leaders? If so they will never tolerate snow loads well. If yours are experiencing this issue now at 6 ft. I would think your problems will be on-going especially with wet heavy snow or ice storms.

When contemplating a arborvitae screen always look for single leader specimens. They shed heavy snow loads fairly well.

The best single leader Arb out there is Hetz Wintergreen.

Good luck


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 9:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Growingadvice originally posted this in the Shrub Forum. IMO, the zip tie idea (and, especially if they DID stay put) was a horrible idea, for obvious reasons. I had suggested removing, or at least gradually reducing, the competing leaders to produce a single-leader specimen. This is the only good long-term solution I can think of, other than replacing them all together. I recommended posting the question here in hopes that some of you guys/gals had addressed a similar situation and could provide further advice and maybe even pictures to clarify what Growingadvice needs to look for/do to produce a good long-term solution.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 10:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Obviously when you are dealing with 50 6 ft. Arbs you have a lot invested not to mention planting.

Replacement would be the way to go if dealing with less in number and smaller plants. In your case I don't think that's an option. Not sure there. If investment was slight then replace.

As brandon7 mentioned graduating to single leader plants would be your only remaining option.

Select one strong leader located in the center of the
shrub, and either remove all other vertical shoots
entirely, or remove them gradually as new growth
fills in behind the leader. This will prevent a lopsided
shrub with most of the growth on one side. I would opt to remove them gradually maintaining an acceptable look as they develop gradually.

If it were me, for now, I would stake and wrap them with twine to stabilize for the winter. Then began the leader reduction next spring.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 11:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

same advice as at the link ..

but i will add.. if you have on demand tv... then you might find the episode from a few weeks ago ..


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 7:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, I did post it on the other forum, but it was recommended on here that this forum was more appropriate. I agreed, soni did.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Emerald green arborvitae

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I bought this for some of my skyrockets and it works great- fully adjustable-won't harm the tree and lasts pretty much forever. very easy to install too.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 7:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

no problem posting in both forums... you get many more opinions .... i just linked them for peeps to view both ...


    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 12:23PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Black Hills Spruce SNEED, Rhizosphaera and spider mites
I have lot of spruce trees with sneed, Rhizoshaera...
yews - ok to cut clear to the ground?
I have a couple yews (probably T. X media) that were...
davidrt28 (zone 7)
Best Conifers/Design Ideas for Full Sun, Wet Clay Soil in pH of 7.8
Hi Everyone, I'm working on redesigning a space for...
Select Landscapes of Iowa
Is this an Abies Disease?
I just noticed that my Abies koreana 'Blauer Pfiff'...
Forests of France/Belgium region.
So I was watching some of PBS's continuing documentary...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™