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My neighbor was told by someone to keep watering these arborvitaes and they would come back next year. Is that true?

Answer

Absolutely not true. These arborvitaes are dead and should be removed immediately; let me explain why. After Superstorm Sandy, many plants and shrubs were killed by salt water, especially near the shore, either by direct contact with the saltwater or from wind-blown salt spray. Arborvitaes were especially hard hit either by salt water or by wind damage.

Your neighbor's arborvitaes are an eyesore, they are dangerous, and a major fire hazard if they are near a house. Ledyard Fire Marshall Jim Mann recently described the problem that fire departments face all over the area. "People don't realize that dead vegetation represents a serious fire hazard. In Ledyard, we have a number of fires each year that get started in landscapes by homeowners' or visitors' cigarettes and backyard barbeques. Dead vegetation should be cleaned up and cleared away". Leaves in the fall should also be removed to a safe distance away from the house and are potential sources of ignition. It's not only dead shrubs and plants that put your house at risk, but seriously overgrown foundation plantings as well. Many times plantings are way too close to houses (even touching) and over roofs! There is always a certain amount of dry material that exists under live shrubs that could catch fire.

So the message is - get your landscape under control and help fireproof your house. Call Sprigs & Twigs if we can help in any way. We can: remove dead trees and plant new ones, remove overgrown landscapes and replace them with new low-maintenance shrubs, perennials and trees and clean up your gardens and leaves in the fall. Now is an especially good time of year to take action.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

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