Deer have eaten the foliage on the bottom portions of several arborvitae. Will the bare areas green back up in spring?
When a prolonged period of snow cover deprives deer of food on the ground, deer often feed on trees and shrubs in woodlands, windbreaks, and home landscapes. Among evergreens, arborvitae and yews are most susceptible to browsing by deer in winter.
The extent of damage to the lower portions of the arborvitae will be determined by the presence or absence of buds (growing points). If buds are present, the lower branches will produce new growth in spring. The new growth should be apparent by early summer. The lower portions of the arborvitae will remain bare and likely never develop new growth if no buds are present.