P&PDL Picture of the Week for
June 3, 2013

Drooping arborvitae

Gail Ruhl, Sr. Plant Disease Diagnostician, Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab and Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist, Department of Forestry & Natural Resources

These trees are 10-15 years old and serve as a wind break. The needles are not misshapen or deformed, the branches just appeared suddenly to be droopy. This is typical of American Arborivitae with weak multi-stem structure. There is nothing wrong with the trees. The drooping is from the weight of the branches and could likely be damage from the late, heavy snow we received this spring. The only suggestion would be do nothing, except maybe prune out excessive weighted branches, carefully. Arborivitae with weak, multi-stem structure are not good, sustainable plants for functional landscape applications.

Click image to enlarge

Drooping arborvitae

Drooping arbovitae

Weak stems of arborvitae

Images courtesy of Andrea Brown, Extension Educator, Carroll County

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service