Help identifying these trees/shrubs and are they dying?


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We have these trees (or maybe shrubs) at the back of our yard. They are about 15-18 feet tall. We live near Cleveland, Ohio.

Last year they looked pretty good, but in the fall and throughout this winter the lower branches started turning brown in spots and the foliage starting falling off. They now look a little sparse. I don’t recall this happening in previous winters, at least to the same extent.

We had a koi pond very close to these that we had removed when we put in a small in ground pool.

I’m not sure if that caused damage to the roots? Perhaps this is normal this time of year (it was a very warm winter, maybe that plays a roll)? Not sure, because I’m not 100% sure what these are and what’s considered normal.

Is there anything we can do?

I’ve included before and after pictures. The before was taken at the beginning of the summer last year and the after is what they look like today.

Any help would be appreciated! We would hate to lose them!

After (taken today):
1F7FAFD5-4CED-4F3E-825F-E5D5AF56B640.jpeg
7CBDA6D6-BCA5-42B6-AE81-AAD714FDC486.jpeg


Before (taken June, I think)
CC29FB22-F932-43A2-B646-A3D208AC72E4.jpeg
 

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It appears to be an overall reduction of foliage and the loss of that many roots will certainly affect the foliage. The only other thing that I can think of that does this kind of damage is bagworms. A tree of that size will not die quickly but it looks to me that it is the case. You will just have to wait and see. You should have a much better idea at the beginning of this coming winter of whether the trees will survive or not.
 
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That's what I was afraid of! :(

Do you think there's a chance they will be able to heal themselves and come back over the summer? Or would it be better to plan on removing them now so we can get something new planted?

Would using some kind of fertilizer help them along?

Any idea what kind of trees these are?
 
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That's what I was afraid of! :(

Do you think there's a chance they will be able to heal themselves and come back over the summer? Or would it be better to plan on removing them now so we can get something new planted?

Would using some kind of fertilizer help them along?

Any idea what kind of trees these are?
I doubt very much that with that amount of the roots destroyed that the tree will survive. If it does survive it will be years for it to recover fully. I would remove them. Without a closeup picture of the leaves and bark I have no way of telling what kind of tree it is.
 
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I see nothing wrong at all. They look like beautiful arborvitae , why would you ever recommend removing them? They are a little thin on the bottoms but that’s pretty much normal. Keep the trees!!
 

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