Arborvitae Have Dead Branches Appearing Where Cut Back Near Base

Question From: New Brighton, Pennsylvania, United States
Q: I have three Emerald Green Arborvitae (approximately 12 - 18' tall) planted along my gravel driveway. It was difficult to maintain the weeds coming up through the gravel early this Spring because they were so close to the tree bases, so I started to cut back the Arborvitae near the base. Now I have dead branches at the bottom and about 18" - 22" up the tree. I don't know what to do next to straighten this out. It cannot stay this way. I hate to have the three Arborvitae removed both for appearance and cost. I live in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Thank you.

A: Sadly the arbs will not regrow branches at the base. My only suggestion would be to put in plants as a ground cover around the trees. Take photos of the area to a good local garden center that offers landscaping services. A short but decorative fence might work? Best Nancy