Arborvitae trees are fast-growing and easy to maintain evergreen trees. This type of tree is becoming more and more adopted in landscaping designs around homes and workplaces. Also known as “Thuja” or “Cedars”, arborvitae is a coniferous tree or shrub with a genus of five species. Three of the species are native to Eastern Asia, while the other two are native to North America. Although arborvitaes are typically used as a screen or hedge in landscaping techniques, their versatility allows them to be suitable for other purposes as well. Arborvitaes are lush and green trees that can fill out within just a year or two.
Landscaping With Arborvitae Trees
How to Plant Your Arborvitae
One of the most important factors when introducing a new plant or tree is when you should plant them. Although you can plant arborvitae trees at any time of the year, the most effective time to plant them is during the fall. The lower temperatures in the fall help to prevent heat stress. The lower temperatures also contribute to the trees developing a stronger and healthier root system.
Arborvitae trees like sunlight. Therefore, you will want to plant them in a spot where they are able to receive about 6 hours of sunlight per day. The amount of sunlight needed is dependent on the species, however, minimal sunlight will of course affect the growth.
Arborvitae trees should be spaced a good distance apart, between 3 to 4 feet. Spacing the trees will help the tree grow to a mature size. For a more natural look, some landscapers will plant them in a zig-zag pattern as opposed to a straight line to create a more natural look. While arborvitaes can be planted into pots, their growth will be stunted. However, consider planting the dwarf species in a pot to avoid any root restriction and help them live for a few good years.
Give them Shape
Arborvitae trees naturally grow into a beautiful tree shape. However, some landscapers will prune the trees to give them weird and wonderful designs or shapes. This can be a fun way to make your landscape or garden design unique.
How to Care for Your Arborvitae Trees
Fertilizing your soil where the trees are growing is a great way to aid growth. Fertilizer is not always necessary if the trees are receiving enough sunlight and water. If there is a noticeable change in tree growth, then adding fertilizer can be a huge help. In pots, you should fertilize often to replace the nutrients being absorbed by the tree.
The soil for the trees should always be moist but never overwatered. To keep the soil moist, pour water directly into the root zone. Over time the frequency of watering will lessen as the root systems develop. Potted arborvitaes will require more frequent watering. During wintertime, when the water is freezing on the trees, be sure to gently brush off the frost or snow.
Additional Reading: Arborvitae, Eastern – Nebraska Forest Service
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