Question From: D. Young - Michigan, United States
Q: I planted last spring (13) 5 arborvitae about 5 ft tall each in very sandy soil in michigan. Have kept them watered, used some peet in the bottom of the rootball hole when planting them and they have done well all last year. They are in a sprinkler zone so they get watered well during the season. This spring I have noticed they are yellowing mostly at the bottom and at the leave tips. There is evidence of the inside leaves having doing their natural browning and dropping, but this is outside and low. No evidence of insects anywhere. It was a long hard winter here. Could they be stressed still from the planting last year and somewhat dry conditions this spring after a harsh winter? Was considering increasing the iron content of the soil with miracid from miracle grow? Suggestions?
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A: Doug, The quick drop in temperatures and severe cold resulted in excessive damage to evergreens as the plants were unable to take up enough moisture to hydrate the greenery. This condition has nothing to do with iron content in the soil. Miracid and Miracle Gro are fast acting salt based fertilizers that will have no lasting effect on soil deficiencies but does have the potenial of burning the roots of plants. Keep your arbs well watered and mulch them with a good organic mulch at a depth of three inches. They may regenerate new growth of the branches still have living tissue. Only time will tell. Also, check to see how much water they are getting using water gauges or the low tech t= ool my late partner Jeff Ball recommended. Tuna or Cat Food Cans - your trees need 1 1/2 inches of water a week. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy