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Keyword Search Results for:
Arborvitae

11 Found

Question: 80-5201
When is the best time to trim evergreens like arborvitae? James Morristown, TN

Mort's Answer:
You should wait until the new growth has fully emerged. At that time, you can cut the protruding tips of the branches. You should cut the Junipers, yews, Chaemycyparis, arborvitae and the like at least 4 times a year, if you want them to maintain their shapes. Pine, spruce and firs can be cut in the late fall each year. I rarely cut my pines and like evergreens at all. Since I do not try to keep the tight shapes on the arborvitae like evergreens, I will generally cut just their tips during the summer months. You must be careful not to cut too deeply into arborvitae and other hedge type candidates. If you will notice that inside these finely sheared specimens, there are no leaves. Since the sunlight cannot penetrate beyond the tight growth, there isnšt any chlorophyll being manufactured by the plants. If you cut beyond this stage, you can severely damage your plants, especially in the winter and early spring. On pines and their like, the branches are further apart and most often growth can be regenerated in the interior. It is no problem with deciduous trees and shrubs, if you cut them back a foot or so.

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Question: 81-5201
Our three foot pyramidal arborvitae are coming apart. There seems to be two main stems. Can we prune them? Priscilla, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
I would cut hem back in two steps. I would cut the taller ones back 6 inches in the spring. Cut the other side back a foot in mid August. Keep the outside trimmed with monthly shearing to keep the growth compact.

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Question: 82-5201
This past spring I cut back our arborvitae to within a foot of the ground. This summer they didn't do anything. They got worse. My grounds are very shady. What could replace them? Pete, East Lyme, CT

Mort's Answer:
If they are showing some green and do not have spider mites or galls, then I would wait until this coming summer before I replaced them. Yews do well in the shade. Hicks and hatfield yews made a good upright hedge, when planted four or five feet apart. Large firs and spruce need to be planted 20 feet apart at a minimum. The advantage of spruce and fir is that they should not be trimmed. Hemlock can be cut and are best planted about 6 or 8 feet apart. Pines will drop a lot of needles and are best left alone. I would plant pines about 10 feet apart. Do not repeat the scalping in any case.

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Question: 83-5201
We have a row of 60 arborvitae that are not doing well. What can we do to liven them up? We want to use something organic. Fran, East Hampton, NY

Mort's Answer:
You can purchase a load of 5 to 8 yards of aged manure. You should cultivate in between and along side the row of arborvitae before applying a good three or four inches of the gold. Be sure not to get it within three inches of the trunk. This should spruce them up before they pine away.

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Question: 84-5201
My arborvitae are all brown at the bottom. It seems to be getting worse. What could be the problem? Frank, East Hampton, NY

Mort's Answer:
First, I would check for spider mites. You should open a white sheet of paper under a partially green leave. Shake the leave. If there are red spot on the paper after you have folded the paper in half and rubbed it together, then you will have to spray with Kelthane or some other miticide. Next I would check for grubs eating the roots. This is best done in the early fall. Dig a hole along side the root to a depth of 18 inches. If you see the little shrimp like pests, use a dursban powder. Follow directions on the llabels in each case. You should also fertilize with 10-6-4.

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Question: 439-3510
Our 18 foot high American Arborvitae is getting out of hand. How far back can I cut them? Joe, Preston, CT

Mort's Answer:
Do not give them a six foot crew cut. It will brown off at the top, if you scalp them. A gradual thinning from the top is more sightly. Remove the top branches down to the next joint. Thuja americana has many leaders. You can cut it back once a month during the summer and again once in the fall. You can bring it down six feet over a two year period without it looking mistreated.

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Question: 594-3211
I have 8 Emerald Green Arborvitaes in a row . When I planted them they were all the same height. Now some are 3 ft., some 4 - 4 and a half ft. How can I trim them to all be equal in height. I heard if I trim the top they get wider. That is not a problem. I would like them to be all the same height. What should I do ? Should I trim this fall ? Wayne

Mort's Answer:
You can trim from the sides to the top. If you do this from all sides, you will reach a point that is common to all plants in height.

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Question: 733-1612
We have an eight foot high hedge of arborvitae that has been ravished at the bottom by deer. There are some forty or better plants that I need to protect. We have used sprays without much success. Can they be saved? Jack, Ashburnham, MA

Mort's Answer:
There are companies that manufacture deer screen fencing. It is green and has a wide mesh. Rolls come in ten and 20 foot heights. They can be erected at a foot from the leaf drop. This will deter the deer from reaching the plants. You can add some high nitrogen fertilizer to the soil to help bring back the lower growth. You can trim the top growth to help foster the new growth. Sprays are often washed away by rain.

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Question: 813-3512
I have an arborvitae hedge with 40 to 50 trees. Deer have eaten the bottom. I did fertilize this spring. What can I use for protection? Jack, Ashburnham, MA

Mort's Answer:
Many of the spray solutions are washed away with the rain. An intermittent sound at night will drive them away. This may not work, if neighbors are close by. They may agree, if they also have this problem. A mechanical remedy would be the green mesh nylon fences. They are easy to erect and hardly visible to humans. Human scent will often deter them. Some folks still use a nylon filled with human hair. You need not fertilize again.

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Question: 1137-2614
My 12 foot pyramidal arborvitae have floppy heads. Can I cut them flat at there top? George, New Brunswick, Canada

Mort's Answer:
You could experience brown tips by cutting them flat across the top. You can trim them to come to a point. It is best to remove some two foot branches to the next joint and thin the upper part now. Later in the summer after you see new growth, you can bring the tops to a point.

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Question: 193-5201
I have 165 arborvitae in a hedge row. I was told to use 7 pounds of fertilizer to a plant . That sounds like a lot of fertilizer. Donald, Cranston, RI

Mort's Answer:
That is a half a ton. That is a lot of fertilizer. You can use a tire iron and punch a hole just beyond the leave drop in between each arborvitae on both sides. Each hole goes down about 6 inches. Fill the 328 holes with 10-6-4 fertilizer. This will take about 500 pounds at the most and will take care of your arborvitae for 5 years.

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