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what to do about snow damaged arborvitae

Posted by growingadvice 5 (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 14, 11 at 20:49

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: what to do about snow damaged arborvitae

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


RE: what to do about snow damaged arborvitae

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.

RE: what to do about snow damaged arborvitae

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.


RE: what to do about snow damaged arborvitae

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

RE: what to do about snow damaged arborvitae

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.

RE: what to do about snow damaged arborvitae

Emerald green arborvitae

RE: what to do about snow damaged arborvitae

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.

RE: what to do about snow damaged arborvitae

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


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