We planted some arborvitaes last year and they died. The nursery said it was a bad batch and gave us replacement ones. Now these are starting to turn brown. Now they say it's probably a drainage issue since we have clay soil. Since they won't give us anymore replacements, we want to do all we can to save these. We are going to dig them up and replant them in 1 of these 2 ways:
1) Dig down about 8-12" deeper than needed, put 4" of gravel and then cover with topsoil, then plant the arbs and backfill with topsoil. This will keep them fairly level with the ground (root balls will be slightly above ground level as they are now).
2) Build an above ground berm of topsoil and plant the arbs in this. This will avoid the work of digging down as deep as #1 above.
Which option is better? Any other options/suggestions? I live in Buffalo. Thanks!