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why are my 10 year old arborvitae trees turning brown?

Lots of this going on.  The problem was the warm fall we had.  It was very warm and dry right up until Christmas.   The evergreens are normally taking up moisture to store in their foliage, stems and trunks to make it through their dormant phase in winter.  With fall as warm and dry as it was, they had little moisture available unless the homeowner was wise enough to provide lots of extra water in the form of a slow soaking of the soil with a trickling garden hose.  Naturally, with the hoses already in storage for the winter, no one actually did this.  The evergreens then, finally, entered dormancy in January without enough moisture within them.  Then came our snowless winter which continued to dry out the evergreens.  In their dormant phase, they won’t take up moisture.  Eventually our warm, dry winter dried them to the point of no return.  Of course, being evergreens, none of the symptoms show until it warms up in spring.  With too much moisture lost, the foliage just dries out in spring since the cells have dried beyond redemption.  If you want to try and save them then follow the advice I gave HERE.

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