Creosote in Soil
I have a row of pyramidal arborvitaes. The one next to the telephone pole died. Is there something I can treat the soil with to neutralize the creosote used on the telephone pole that may have leached into the soil? I would like to plant another one to fill in this gap.
I am unaware of anything that will neutralize creosote. I have found freshly treated materials caused the worst plant damage when the creosote volatilized in hot weather. Over time the impact on the surrounding plants was much less. It may be a coincidence that the arborvitae next to the pole died. Check out all the growing conditions (water, light and such) to make sure there isn't another factor involved. Poor drainage or droughty soil can also kill plants. You may want to try a different plant in this area. Consider adding some ornamental grasses that combine nicely with the arborvitae. Plant several grass plants in with the arborvitae to add seasonal interest and fill the void caused by the dead arborvitae.