Lower Branches Of Arborvitae Are Spindly And Weak After Being Eaten By Deer

Question From: Spokane, Washington, United States
Q: Our Arborvitae have suffered from lack of water and deer damage. That problem has been solved but the lower branches are spindly and weak while the tops are green and healthy. Can we prune the top green and force the lower portion to fill out?

A: - Cutting back the green tops of the shrubs will reduce the food source and weaken the plants further. Keep them well watered and let nature take her course. In late autumn fertilize the arbs with Holly Tone according to package directions. In early spring shear the tops lightly to bring them more into proportion with the spindly bottoms. Depends on how badly the shrubs were browsed as to how well they will regrow. It's await and see process. But do keep them watered. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy