Strapping Arborvitae- Garden Part Two


Hi all. Today I want to share the back garden reno with the arborist’s visit. I called an arborist to look at the line of trees down the side of the house. I needed someone to address the break in the third arborvitae from the back. Remember, the one with the squirrel next and damage??? See post

He felt the trees were very healthy, all things considered., and while I wanted to trim them, he recommended not topping arborvitae as it not only looks awful, it can damage the tree. Topping results in stopping vertical growth and the tree than tends to grow thicker or to “bush up”. When the arborvitae bushes, its insides tend not to get enough sun, and there can be massive needle loss.

Trees were opening up along the bottom and sides. You can see the spreading of the tree away from center

However, I need to clarify this a bit. You can do a mild topping of arborvitae if you do it correctly. Hopefully, the tree has been maintained and trimmed all along, you are trying to prevent it from getting too tall, and have not just decided to go at it at 15 feet of height and want to chop off three feet. It can be done here is one youtube video to demonstrate HERE. and HERE

Apparently, you can trim arborvitae by pruning the sided in an upward motion taking some outside parts od the outer branches and cutting them in a graduated manner up to the top. This is recommended as tree maintenance every year or two, as as I never did that, we are not starting now.
Thankfully, the builder only placed the trees in a single row, albeit a bit too close together. Doubling up these trees or planting too close together can result in a lack of sunlight to the inner branches and loss or browning of leaves, It also can cause spraying of branches as they seek sunshine.

The arborist did not believe the trees would topple. They are a very supple tree and can withstand strong winds.

So to repair the unfortunate look of the last three arborvitaes, he recommended strapping. I am entirely unfamiliar with that concept, and so I observed him as he placed multiple binding straps.

Most commonly, a massive snow or ice storm results in separation of the tree branches due to the excess weight on the branches. Sometimes, the bend stays in the limb, and the tree looks unsightly and does not grow normally. In those cases, the tree is brought back into alignment using a strap tie that gathers the branches in toward the tree trunk. Typically, you can remove the straps in a couple of years as the tree straightens itself. However, my old trees will like to require the ties to be permanent. I will have to keep a check on them over the years to make sure the strap is not cutting into the wood.

Furthermore, he did not strap to the trunk but to the inner branches. If you strap to the trunk it will stop tree grown and may kill the tree. I still need to check the trees periodically to see how they are doing.


As to the hole in the branches. He strapped the tree and covered up much of the cave but there is still is a smaller open area on the other side. There is green growth and he believes the branches will grow back. I will fertilize with evergreens with Plantone this week after the heat wave.

After. The tree now more together but hole still there

Most gardeners tell you to give all evergreen an acid-loving fertilizer like Hollytone. Most evergreens do absorb more nutrients from acid soil. However, others recommend not giving Hollytone to arborvitae nor boxwood but rather give Plant-tone See HERE

While arborvitae are considered a no to low maintenance evergreen in home gardens, they still require looking after. Here are a few online centers with information on how to maintain healthy arborvitae.


The men also trimmed three trees for me. The dogwood in the front was growing over the top of the portico. The sweet magnolia in the back was getting into the gutters and the red maple in the front had a bunch of dead branches the arborists found at the initial inspection.

All trees have been strapped and pulled into the center. The big gap has been modified a bit
you can still see a gap from the front but the back appears closed in.

This time he noticed a massive injury to the trunk and found a scar when. he removed the dead bar. A couple of years ago the retaining wall collapsed and they brought in diggers to move soil. The trunk may have been injured at that time.

He thinned out the red Japanese maple. Removed all dead branches and allowed air to get into circulate. Hopefully a little water and fertilizer will help heal the wound on the trunk.

For now, I am supposed to baby the tree. Make sure she gets a lot of water during this heatwave and light fertilization. Hopefully, that will save her.

Looks like the entire trunk us involved. Maybe not an injury but an unwell tree???

The retaining wall redo may have injured her rooting system or weakened her to get an illness. Anybody know anything about trees???

Who knew trees could require so much attention?

July is here now and this is one of my least favorite times of the year. I almost prefer Winter to July and August. Now please, I did say almost. I am a Spring and Fall woman. I prefer temperatures in the 50-60-75 range. Sorry to say, that range stays pretty tight.

I did prefer the SUMMER in Ireland and Great Britain. I returned in February, their Spring, and stayed up until September. Then, I would go back to the States and enjoy Fall and Winter. I am here in Ohio all year round now, except for short excursions, hopefully within my temp range.

Living in Ireland for most of the nice weather, I have neglected the Ohio garden and now am trying to make amends to the poor thing. I will get there eventually. Making errors and re -doing, but finally getting it where it wants to be.

What is your garden telling You?

Take good care.



Hi, my name's Darleen.

This homebody works on making my own haven, and I would love for you to feel free to do this too. I lean toward a New England, English country decor, but you can adapt my ideas to fit your style. I write about decor, eating, gardening, travel, and antiquing. I am a fanatical devote of genealogy and love to assist other searchers. If any of this appeals, join me and make your home your haven.

More to explorer

The worst weed ever

Since my return from Ireland and my recovery from hip replacement surgery, I want to focus more on my gardens. I tend

Etsy shop linked on blog

Hi time for another mini blog post. We are still trying to work out the bugs on the new upgrade. So today,

Leave a Comment


Be the first to know about new posts from Homebody Havens!