Arborvitae damaged and leaning


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Old 06-04-19, 07:59 AM
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Arborvitae damaged and leaning

I have over a dozen very tall arborvitae that screen our yard from the roadway. I'd guess they range from 25' to 40' tall. A large maple limb pushed one seriously over a couple weeks ago. The base is heaved up just a little (no exposed roots) but it is mainly the trunk that is bent and leaning.

The only way I can imagine straightening it is if I take rope and pulley and attach it back to the maple tree 40+ feet away (attach near a large limb 10' high to get the correct leverage). I'd probably need some other stakes and lines to get it stabilized correctly again.

Is it worth the effort to work on an arborvitae this mature to straighten it? I don't see this being a short task especially when looking at the mass that has to move. I'm just wondering if others have been successful at correcting larger arborvitae trunks like this.

Thanks!
 
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Old 06-04-19, 08:30 AM
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I would not spend time and effort trying to straighten or rehab those trees. I assume because of the partial shade of larger trees or pruning they are tall and gangly and their growth is offset to the street. It's a good time for a landscape upgrade.
 
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Old 06-04-19, 12:59 PM
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Thanks Pilot. That's what I wanted to know since I could see that correction would take the rest of the season (or longer). Although the initial posted pics showed damage caused from a limb coming down, there are trees that are getting large and have been leaning already from being in the shade (as you noted). We are also in Wisconsin and deal with snow.

The pics below show two groupings of arborvitae. I'm not sure when they were originally planted. Do you have any good screening options if we decide to cut and replant with new trees/shrubs for screening? Screening for roadway is main purpose so 15' +/- is max height is fine. We're not against taller but it's really meant for screening that will be under a larger canopy (maples, elms, and walnut). Zone 5a? I don't mind arborvitae probably because they seem to grow fast and are reasonably priced....until they start getting old and spreading. Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-04-19, 02:00 PM
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A lot depends on how patient you are. The fast way is to buy some evergreens that are fast growing and plant them close together so they fill in quickly and provide screening. Then as they grow you can let them be over crowded or you can cut down every other to open up space for the remaining ones but that will leave openings for a few years. Slower is to plant a proper distance apart but it may take 10 or more years before you get full screening coverage.

I wouldn't worry too much about what specifically you get. Almost anything is going to be partially shaded and will eventually lean for the light. So, go for something you like and that is inexpensive.

I don't know if there are any holly varieties that can survive your winters, maybe a winterberry or mountain holly. It's a great screening plant as they can grow low and fat so they can provide almost complete visual blockage. The leaves are prickley so they discourage people from getting too close and they produce pretty red berries.
 
 

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