Arborvitae Branches Are Turning Brown After Adjacent Lot Clearing

Question From: B. Tucker - Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, United States
Q: We just moved into our new home that has arborvitae hedges along both sides of the driveway. We live on a lake in North Carolina. The day we settled on the home, the next door neighbor cleared his lot, and now the only thing left are our arborvitae. Many branches randomly throughout the trees are turning brown. Is this root disturbance from the company that cleared the lot? Or could something else be going on? We had a mild winter, only 1 snowfall, and we did not use salt or any other chemicals. Thank you!

A: I don't have a crystal ball, but root disturbance and compaction would be the obvious issue. Lack of moisture might also be a problem. I would have a certified arborist do an onsite inspection for a recommendation. To find a professional in your area go to and enter your zip code. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy