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Hi- I have 15 Aborvitaes planted, 10 were just planted this past April, the other 5 were planted a year ago. The 5 older ones don’t seem to be coming back so great after the dry winter we had- There is a lot of brown, one in particular almost looks like it is a lost cause however when I look at it up close there is some new little spots of green growth- I have made sure there is no mulch up against the trunk and they are not planted too deep. I initially stopped in the CP store and was told to get some tree tone down- I did that around them all but did not bury it into the ground- should I have done this and if so should I do it now? How often do I need to be watering… as you know we have had a very hot spring/early summer with little rain- I want to make sure the 10 new ones get the water they need and the same for the 5 1 year old ones. I am watering about every other day- have clay soil but mixed tree tone and peat moss when planted. Lastly- should I be trimming off the brown foliage? Some of it is just falling off if I brush my hand along the branch…Thank you!kguay11@gmail.com

There is a lot of this happening,  They can recover pretty quickly since the root system is undamaged.   As for watering…in clay soil, you need to be careful not to overwater when it is wet out since the clay holds the moisture so well.  You don’t want the arbs to drown.  Then clay gets rock hard when it is dry so more frequent watering is necessary.  A deep soak once a week should be enough even in the hot part of summer.  If the soil is cool and just lightly moist…that is enough.  If you can squeeze water from the soil with your hand, it is likely too wet.  The Tree-tone should be put into the soil.  You can pound holes among the arbs and pour the food into them…that works fine.  To stimulate some quick leaf growth you should use some Miracid soluble evergreen food. Mix with water in a watering can as the package directs. Wash this food all over the stems and remaining leaves. This food can be absorbed directly into the plant without having to come up through the root system. It is an emergency method of feeding and, if there is any life left to the plant, this will stimulate quick leaf growth. Do this every week and a half until mid-June.   It is always good to remove the dead foliage since that will allow sunlight to penetrate and help along new growth to help them fill back in.

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