What To Do If The Thuja Hedge Has Died?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:26 pm

Thuja is also known by the name tree of life. These conifers can grow very old. Nevertheless, it can sometimes happen that a thuja hedge dies. This can have several reasons. Sometimes you are lucky and the thuja can still be saved. Then the plant recovers and you can enjoy a beautiful thuja hedge again. Here you can find out if your thuja hedge has died or if it can still be saved. What steps to take if the hedge needs to be replaced?

What To Do If The Thuja Hedge Has Died?
Conifers are usually hardy trees that can live to a ripe old age.

How old can Thuja grow?

Conifers are usually hardy trees that can reach a great age. After planting, you will have a beautiful conifer hedge in your garden for years or even decades. However, a conifer hedge needs to be kept in shape, so there’s no getting around regular trimming. This makes conifer hedges much more demanding than individually planted conifers, which can grow freely. Of course, this also applies to thuja. How old a thuja hedge can become is not easy to say. It depends, among other things, on the type of soil, care and weather conditions to which the plant is exposed over the years.

What To Do If The Thuja Hedge Has Died?

Also, certain diseases and pests can ultimately cause thuja hedges to not live as long and die sooner. With proper care, thuja is a hedge conifer that you can enjoy for a long time. The exact age of a thuja hedge is difficult to predict. Sometimes it happens that thuja hedges suddenly turn brown or the branches die. Then it is good to know whether the hedge can still be saved or needs to be replaced with a new hedge. Here you can read more about the most common causes that cause the branches to turn brown and the plant to die.

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What To Do If The Thuja Hedge Has Died?
When the needles of thuja discolor, you should act quickly.

Causes of discoloration and death of branches.

When the needles of thuja discolor, you should act quickly. The foliage loses its green color, turns yellowish and eventually brown. Check what may be the cause of this before abandoning it altogether. A brown thuja hedge is not much to look at. The whole garden suffers from it and loses its attractiveness. Therefore, it is important to quickly find a solution. In some cases, the thuja hedge actually needs to be replaced. In other cases, the hedge can still be saved.

A common cause of discoloration and dropping of needles is drought. Especially after hot summers with little rainfall, your thuja hedge may show signs of lack of water. The foliage then turns yellow to brown and even falls off. This is especially the case if you have not provided Thuja with enough water. During periods of prolonged drought, it is therefore important to give your thuja hedge extra water. If the thuja hedge does not get enough water, it can die in the worst case. Sometimes your thuja hedge can still be saved by watering the roots three times a week.

What To Do If The Thuja Hedge Has Died?
Conifers require more magnesium than other hedge plants.

Another cause may be a deficiency of magnesium. Conifers need more magnesium than other hedge plants. That is why we always recommend fertilizing your thuja hedge twice a year with organic conifer fertilizer. This fertilizer is specially designed for conifers like thuja. The fertilizer is rich in magnesium, so the conifers are well supplied with it. If your thuja hedge suffers from a lack of magnesium, you will recognize this by the many dried out areas of the hedge. You can see this especially at the bottom and in the middle of the hedge.

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To correct this magnesium deficiency, enrich the soil with a special magnesium fertilizer. How much of it you need to use, is written exactly in the instructions on the package. This depends on what conditions the hedge is exposed to and how advanced the damage already is. Once your hedge has recovered, don’t forget to fertilize your hedge twice a year with special conifer fertilizer. Another cause of brown and dry spots on a thuja hedge can be too radical pruning. Thuja tolerates pruning well, but you should avoid pruning to bare wood at all costs. Always leave a few branches with good foliage. Otherwise, thuja will not sprout again and an unsightly bare patch will remain in the hedge.

In such a case, there is little you can do to fix this blemish. You can try to conceal these spots by tying well-leaved branches in front of them, which is not always easy. Besides, this only works for smaller bald spots. For larger bare spots, it’s easier to replace the entire hedge. Another cause of branch death can be fungus. This is a common nuisance with Thuja: you can recognize the infestation by small, black dots on the needles. Fungus or mold can usually be treated well with special products that are available in any garden center.

What To Do If The Thuja Hedge Has Died?
Often one of the above causes of discoloration and death of thuja branches.

Thuja hedge replace or not?

Often one of the above causes is responsible for the discoloration and death of thuja branches. Of course, it may also be that your thuja hedge has died because of its old age. However, in many other cases it is possible to revive your thuja hedge, for example, by increasing water supply or fertilizer. If it still does not help and the thuja hedge does not recover, it is best to replace the hedge with a new one. In our webshop you can get different varieties of thuja quickly and easily. Our thuja are of the best quality and always in top condition.

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You can also replace your thuja hedge with another conifer. Just think of yew, Leyland cypress or mock cypress. Decide for yourself whether to give your old hedge another try first or buy a whole new hedge. All thuja plants that you buy from us have been grown with the utmost care by professionals in our nurseries. Therefore, we can guarantee that you will enjoy a thuja hedge that you buy from us for a long time.

Look around our webshop and choose exactly the thuja or hedge plant that best fits your garden design.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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