Arborvitae Are Turning Brown And Losing Foliage At Bottom

Question From: J. Wells - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Q: I have 15 arborvitae, 12 planted last year and 3 two years ago. All are 5-7 feet tall. All are turning brown and losing all foliage for the first foot to 1/2 foot from the bottom. For the 12 new trees this just started during January in Minnesota. The area dying is similar to where I spray animal stop. My guess is that either the spray is killing it or the rabbits (or something else?) are not deterred and are eating from the bottom leading to death in that area. Can you give me any information to try save these trees?

A: Probably deer. The only deer repellant I know of that works in winter is Plantskydd manufactured by Tree World. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy