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Old 06-14-2020, 09:30 PM   #1
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Exposed bases of arbivitae


Around 15 years ago we planted a long line of arborvitae and some other plant along our property line (maybe 40 yards long) with the expectation that the 3 ft tall bushes would grow to a height of 10-12 ft and give us some privacy from out neighbors.

Now two things have happened.
1. our land is flat but it seems like a lot of the topsoil at the base of the plants has disappeared. Land is flat so it has not run off. Last week I got bags of premium topsoil from Home Depot and am throwing some Hollytone and a bag of topsoil around each tree base. Do I need to TAP down the soil with a shovel or my foot? or can i just leave it as it fell - on the fluffy side, and let natural rain tap it down.

2. we finally had some professionals trim the top of the plants down to around 8 ft so that they would grow fuller. This was in October. I think unrelated to the trimming, the other day i noticed that 3 or 4 out of the 25 we planted now have an intense lean to them right from the bottom. It's as if somebody dug them out and then reinserted them into the ground at a 70% angle. You can't budge them. How do i straighten them out?

If it's helpful i can post some pictures.
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Old 06-14-2020, 11:10 PM   #2
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Re: Exposed bases of arbivitae


Don't over fertilize at one time and make sure you water well with it. I wouldn't worry about the soil compaction it will settle in if water isn't washing it away.

The leaners were likely pushed with a wind, not sure how you fix that.
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Old 06-15-2020, 07:46 AM   #3
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Re: Exposed bases of arbivitae


@andyhome welcome!

I'm with @Nealtw , and add that a-vitae, like all conifers, should not be overtrimmed. If you cut the "leafy" (needle bearing) part of a mature branch off to a nub, it won't regrow. I hope that wasn't done with the trimming you describe.

Once wood hardens that's pretty much it. If it's bent it stays that way. So, given your description, I think you'll have to live with lean on the bases of some.

Do, please give us some pictures, it can help evaluate further courses of action. I hope your tops weren't over-trimmed.

I'm in California now, but I lived in northeast Ohio for many years, and had to deal with a-vitae and other fun conifers while there, which educated for the fun conifers out here.

Also, where are you? That might make a difference, too.
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Old 06-15-2020, 10:55 PM   #4
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Re: Exposed bases of arbivitae


Hi.
I'm in Westchester just 25 miles north of NYC. We had tree guys take down a huge gym tree last Fall and had them trim everything else around the house. I remember them reluctantly trimming the side bushes as much as the mrs wanted so hopefully that isn't the problem. The bushes had grown way over 15 feet and we cut them down to 10 (just guessing).

That still wouldn't explain why they're leaning unless we had a super severe storm that I missed and they were forced over a bit ... but yesterday I could not straighten them out myself - couldn't even budge them and was thinking that if I used a rope they's snap ... so i'm have a local guy come over and perhaps dig around them a bit to straighten them out.

Anyways here are some photos.
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Old 06-15-2020, 11:02 PM   #5
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Re: Exposed bases of arbivitae


Quote:
Originally Posted by andyhome View Post
Hi.
I'm in Westchester just 25 miles north of NYC. We had tree guys take down a huge gym tree last Fall and had them trim everything else around the house. I remember them reluctantly trimming the side bushes as much as the mrs wanted so hopefully that isn't the problem. The bushes had grown way over 15 feet and we cut them down to 10 (just guessing).

That still wouldn't explain why they're leaning unless we had a super severe storm that I missed and they were forced over a bit ... but yesterday I could not straighten them out myself - couldn't even budge them and was thinking that if I used a rope they's snap ... so i'm have a local guy come over and perhaps dig around them a bit to straighten them out.

Anyways here are some photos.
Were they in the shade of the big tree?
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https://www.fema.gov/media-library-d...6/chapter7.pdf
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:05 AM   #6
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Re: Exposed bases of arbivitae


Quote:
Originally Posted by andyhome View Post
Hi.
I'm in Westchester just 25 miles north of NYC. We had tree guys take down a huge gym tree last Fall and had them trim everything else around the house. I remember them reluctantly trimming the side bushes as much as the mrs wanted so hopefully that isn't the problem. The bushes had grown way over 15 feet and we cut them down to 10 (just guessing).

That still wouldn't explain why they're leaning unless we had a super severe storm that I missed and they were forced over a bit ... but yesterday I could not straighten them out myself - couldn't even budge them and was thinking that if I used a rope they's snap ... so i'm have a local guy come over and perhaps dig around them a bit to straighten them out.

Anyways here are some photos.
There's no photos.
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