Arborvitae Leaves Turn Brown And Fall Off When Touched

Question From: L. K - Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
Q: My 5-year old arborvitae has been growing extremely well, until this spring. The center leaves were greening up nicely a couple weeks ago, but now it is all brown and the leaves fall off when touched. We had an extreme winter in New Hampshire, and we do have a male dog who sometimes urinates on the bottom leaves. Is my favorite shrub a goner?

A: I can't answer that Lisa. I've have hundreds of homeowners ask the same question. I recommend you give it some time. These plants have latent buds under the needles and they may bud out. Be patient. Peeing on the leaves under the shub may be a good thing if the dog is small. Water the urine in. If he (?) raises his leg and hits the needles that could cause more burn. Good Luck, Nancy and Happy Yardening.