Arborvitae Have Lost Foliage And Dried Up In Places Where Crowded By Other Plants

Question From: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Q: We have a row of well-established arborvitae that look fine from the front, but at the ends, where there were other shrubs (rhododendron) the arborvitae have lost all of their green foilage and are dried up twigs. The same thing happened on the back side where our neighbor had planted a small weeping cherry tree right next to the arborvitae. Should we just prune the dead branches or is there something else we can do? Other shrubs and tree have now been removed so we no longer have anything right up against the arborvitae, they just look bad in spots

A: Mimi, I cannot advise you on this situation as the reason behind the branch death could be the result of a variety of issues. Could be lack of water, insects, disease, chemical damage, root damage or all of the above. I suggest you have a professional inspection to see if the shrubs are salvageable and what should be pruned . To find a certified arborist in your area go to and enter your zip code. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy