It’s so easy to fall in love with arborvitae trees. We can count on them to line our landscapes, provide privacy and provide yearlong interest with the emerald green color—all without needing much maintenance.
When they do need our attention, it’s usually because of a hungry deer or intense storm. If either one has left your arborvitae branches bent, broken, or bare, will the tree branches grow back?
There are a few simple things you can do to help arborvitaes recover.
Three Ways To Tackle Arborvitae Tree Damage Repair
How Much Damage Means Your Arborvitae Is A Goner?
Devastating storms can create unstable trees, which makes your yard unsafe. First, check your arborvitae for any major issues, such as split trunks, broken tops, exposed roots, or downed limbs.
If the damage looks minimal, help your tree rebound with these tips.
What To Do When A Storm Affects Arborvitae Branches
Bent Arborvitae Branches need to be propped back up into their vertical form. To do this, collect the branches together until they’re standing straight up and secure them with burlap or bungee cords.
Keep the branches tied for about a month before checking if they’ve regained their form. If not, tie them back up. This is crucial because you don’t want to girdle these branches with the material you use to tie them up. If you used burlap, continue checking to see if branches have corrected themselves, if so then remove burlap. If they still need more time, place burlap back and continue checking through winter. That way, the tree can gradually grow new wood and take shape without the threat of piling snow or hungry deer.
Broken Arborvitae Branches need to be pruned to repair the tree’s structure.
What To Do When A Deer Eats Your Arborvitae Branches
Bare branches without needles likely won’t grow back after a deer’s gotten to them.
But if there is some green growth left, there’s hope for your arborvitae! Trim off the branches that are bare, brown or beyond repair. Then, give it water and fertilizer as needed. If deer browsing continues to be an issue, it may be time to replace with something less desirable to them.
How Fast Do Arborvitae Branches Grow Back?
If you shower your arborvitae with TLC after damage, it can recover during the next few growing seasons. Arborvitaes can grow anywhere from 6 to 12” in a year. From here on out, it’s a game of patience–waiting for your tree to fill in again while keeping those deer away!