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Sighted in Midland, NC: Dying Arborvitae

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Earlier this week, we headed out to a home in Midland, NC to assess some tree damage from Hurricane Michael. The homeowner had noticed that her arborvitae, which is typically a hardy evergreen, was quickly gaining brown leaves. Sure enough, signs of tree decay were clearly visible across her landscape. How did we know there was tree decay? Tree decay was evident based on the browning of the needles that the once very green evergreens were showing. Given how quickly this condition can kill an arborvitae, the trees required the immediate attention of our plant health care technician. If your evergreens are showing brown needles throughout the tree and/or missing needles, it’s time to take action.

browning arborvitae needles

Unfortunately, a quick scan of this neighborhood, located in southern Cabarrus County just east of Charlotte, revealed that this tree blight was not contained to our customer's yard. In fact, there was evidence of sick evergreen trees in many neighboring yards. 

While poor drainage or soil conditions can be the cause of tree illness, in this area, it's most likely the aftermath of the heavy winds and rain not only of Hurricane Michael but the persistent rain conditions that North Carolina has endured for the past few weeks. Whether there is an influx in rain or drought conditions water has a huge impact on the health of plants.

brown arborvitae among green arborvitaes

At Carolina Tree Care, we encourage you to share this page and photos with your friends and neighbors—and give us a call, please. We would love to do whatever it may take to keep your arborvitae healthy before it's too late; there is a threshold at which the plant is no longer savable. Please reach out at the earliest signs of tree distress! We’re here for you.

Check out our Tree Bugs page for more information.


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