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Old 02-03-2021, 02:08 PM
 
10 posts, read 9,727 times
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I'm trying to get a head start on preparing for Spring. I'm in Atlanta, GA and had 1 of 2 struggling Thujas, both (unfortunately) planted in the Atlanta summer of 2020. The struggling Thuja had signs of what appeared to be black flagging. After removing the affected areas twice (once initially, then it returned) the attached photo is what I was left with.

I've been advised that Thujas are thirsty trees and watered them regularly when rainfall wasn't sufficient. I've also been advised to consider fertilizing them in the Spring. Any suggested advice ahead of Spring and any specific fertilizer recommendations?

I also have Mexican Feather Grass, Powis Castle, Russian Sage, Tall Verbena, Pink Muhly Grass, Elijah Blue Fescue, a Slender Hinoki Cypress, and Lambs Ear around our property. All are looking a little raggedy from the Winter with the exception of the Hinoki Cypress. I welcome any and all suggestions on caring for my plant babies in the Spring!

Many thanks
Attached Thumbnails
Thuja and General Gardening Help-img_0916.jpg  
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Old 02-04-2021, 04:48 AM
 
1,818 posts, read 737,335 times
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I have three of the pyramid thuja. This might be normal. I sort of look at them as disposable since they grow fast and don't respond well to pruning. The inside of them will drop leaves or if they don't drop, I reach in and take them out so they don't harbor insects and disease. I would remove any artificial mulch or ground cover to ensure roots get proper water and ventilation. Once established, they are pretty tough.
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Old 02-04-2021, 05:47 AM
Status: "No longer very optimistic." (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
41,223 posts, read 51,035,158 times
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What is that around the tree? A watering device? What’s the black stuff, wood mulch? More plants die from over watering than under watering.

I think perhaps this guy will never regain a pleasing shape, but I’d baby it this year, and then see. They say never to fertilize a sick plant, but if it’s sick because it’s not getting the right nutrients, I would. Take off the plastic thing, give it some fertilizer for evergreens (they like acid), and tuck it in with 2” of shredded mulch. Those big chunks of mulch aren’t going to break down and enrich your soil as fast as small mulch, and they are also not going to protect the roots of the plant.

All the plants you mention like full sun, so I assume the thuja gets enough sun?
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:37 AM
 
10 posts, read 9,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webster View Post
I have three of the pyramid thuja. This might be normal. I sort of look at them as disposable since they grow fast and don't respond well to pruning. The inside of them will drop leaves or if they don't drop, I reach in and take them out so they don't harbor insects and disease. I would remove any artificial mulch or ground cover to ensure roots get proper water and ventilation. Once established, they are pretty tough.
Thank you!
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:40 AM
 
10 posts, read 9,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
What is that around the tree? A watering device? What’s the black stuff, wood mulch? More plants die from over watering than under watering.

I think perhaps this guy will never regain a pleasing shape, but I’d baby it this year, and then see. They say never to fertilize a sick plant, but if it’s sick because it’s not getting the right nutrients, I would. Take off the plastic thing, give it some fertilizer for evergreens (they like acid), and tuck it in with 2” of shredded mulch. Those big chunks of mulch aren’t going to break down and enrich your soil as fast as small mulch, and they are also not going to protect the roots of the plant.

All the plants you mention like full sun, so I assume the thuja gets enough sun?

Around the tree is a treegator; I kept it there for about 2 months and removed it for better watering and ventilation. The black stuff are large slate chips. Should I consider fertilizing in the Spring or perhaps now. I’m thinking it could be too risky with Winter temps if I haven’t been able to determine whether or not it’s sick, was planted too late, or not enough nutrients. Yes, they get lots of full sun!
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Old 02-05-2021, 12:30 PM
Status: "No longer very optimistic." (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
41,223 posts, read 51,035,158 times
Reputation: 71316
Quote:
Originally Posted by meh0428 View Post
Around the tree is a treegator; I kept it there for about 2 months and removed it for better watering and ventilation. The black stuff are large slate chips. Should I consider fertilizing in the Spring or perhaps now. I’m thinking it could be too risky with Winter temps if I haven’t been able to determine whether or not it’s sick, was planted too late, or not enough nutrients. Yes, they get lots of full sun!
Fertilize as soon as your last chance of frost is over. It’s not as important for an evergreen, but when you fertilize or prune plants, it prompts growth, and tender growth is susceptible to cold damage.

Here in zone 8, I fertilize on St Patrick’s Day. Then on the holidays until Labor Day.

Slate chips are doing nothing good for your soil or your plants.

Let us know how it goes!
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Old 02-05-2021, 03:37 PM
 
1,818 posts, read 737,335 times
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One other thing if you have not done it is to get a soil test done through your extension agent. It will not only give you the PH, but also nutrients and organic matter. You can put all the fertilizer on a plant you want, but if the PH is off and there is no calcium, it can't be absorbed.
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Old Today, 09:04 PM
 
10 posts, read 9,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Fertilize as soon as your last chance of frost is over. It’s not as important for an evergreen, but when you fertilize or prune plants, it prompts growth, and tender growth is susceptible to cold damage.

Here in zone 8, I fertilize on St Patrick’s Day. Then on the holidays until Labor Day.

Slate chips are doing nothing good for your soil or your plants.

Let us know how it goes!
Sure thing! So what's better than slate chips...mulch? Can mulch go under slate chips or do they need to be exposed? I really don't like the look of mulch, but will do it if it will keep my plants happy and healthy.
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Old Today, 09:06 PM
 
10 posts, read 9,727 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by webster View Post
One other thing if you have not done it is to get a soil test done through your extension agent. It will not only give you the PH, but also nutrients and organic matter. You can put all the fertilizer on a plant you want, but if the PH is off and there is no calcium, it can't be absorbed.
Yes! I have a soil moisture meter and will be putting it to use before fertilizing! I'm guessing this isn't a test that needs to wait until Spring, correct?
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