Arborvitae Tree Care

  1. Learn More About Arborvitae, the Tree of Life

    Garden Design Ideas for Using Arborvitae in the Landscape

    Natural grown Arborvitae provide a soft, elegant, fine textured look as they gain in size each year.  Classic use of Arborvitae is for screening out unsightly views, and for blocking winter winds on the north and west sides of your home. 

    Both Emerald Green and North Pole Arborvitaes are of the same species (known as Eastern White Cedar or Northern White Cedar) that grows fast, tall and they both stay quite narrow without pruning.  If you plant them closer together, they make a solid screen sooner.  Both of these varieties can be planted every three or four feet and just allow them to grow and touch each other.  There is no need to keep the plants trimmed to prevent them from touching but you want them to mesh together and make a nice solid green screen. 

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  2. Transplanting Arborvitae

    Arborvitae Cuttings

    Transplanting arborvitae is a fairly straightforward process. It is very similar to the act of transplanting most other plants. Transplanting arborvitae should always be done in the autumn months. The first step is to dig around the plant and fairly deep. The underground root structure of an arborvitae shrub or tree can sometimes get pretty large, and it is important not to damage any roots if possible.

    Once the plant is up, remove much of the soil from around the roots. This can be done using water or lightly shaking the roots.

    Once the soil has been removed, select a new location for the plant.  Ensure that the new location will satisfy the needs of the plant. There should be a good amount of direct sunlight each day, and also good drainage of water.

    Once the location has been selected, a hole must be dug for the plant. The hole should be large enough to house t

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  3. Pruning Arborvitae

    Pruned Arborvitae

    Pruning arborvitae trees is an important part of the maintenance process. Many of the species of arborvitae trees will not need any pruning, as they will maintain a natural shape that is pleasing to the eye.  In these cases, pruning arborvitae should only be done in order to limit the height that the plant will reach. In other cases, pruning will allow the gardener to change the shape of the plant into a hedge, or a more ornamental shape.

    The first step to pruning arborvitae is to understand when and why to prune. If a tree is mature, many of the branches may not be as lively as they once were.  This may be from lack of sunlight or proper nutrients. When this happens, pruning the plant down may provide the proper light to the branch, rejuvenating it. Pruning will also help to stimulate new growth.

    Most arborvitae should be pruned or trimmed while dormant in the colder months, roughly from about November to March. Pruning arborvitae may also be strictly ornamental.  A row of arborvitae trees may be pruned down to shrubs, for a more aesthetically pleasing screen.  Pruning arborvitae may also entail removing branches and growth that shoots out of the border of the plant. Removing these will make the plant seem fuller and healthier.  Cutting it down to just a few inches off the ground may rejuvenate an arborvitae that is overgrown or weak.  This is the fastest and most reliable way to renew a shrub.

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  4. Planting Arborvitae

    small arborvitae trees in pots

    Planting arborvitaes is easy, as they generally require no aftercare to thrive, aside from occasional pruning. Once a suitable site is selected, the hole should be dug large enough for the root system to spread out. The roots should be only a few inches underneath the surface of the soil, as they require air to grow properly.   Once in place, the plant should be watered.  Planting arborvitaes should be done in an area of moist, alkaline soil for best results. This is not required, however, as arborvitaes will grow in dry or acidic soil as well.

    They can be planted just about anywhere that has full to partial sun. Hardy to zones three to eight, arborvitaes will not thrive in warmer climates.   Propagation of arborvitaes can be done best by clippings.  This is generally easier than it is on other plants, as the tree can literally be torn apart to make hundreds of smaller clippings.  Planting arborvitae clippings is easy to do, but takes some time before a mature plant grows.  The clipping should be about four inches of new growth, and should be placed in a sandy soil.  After planting arborvitae clippings, a mist of water should be applied for a few seconds every ten minutes or so.

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  5. Arborvitae Growth Rate

    Close up Green Russian Arborvitae Microbiota decussata Stalks

    Arborvitae growth will appear in the early spring, and continue until well into autumn. The rate at which it grows will depend on the species that is in question. Globe arborvitae will grow at a pretty slow rate, while techny arborvitae can grow at a rate of four feet per year once the plant has matured. The arborvitae growth will appear mostly on branches and stems that had been cut back the previous year.

    Pruning an arborvitae plant in the winter will help to encourage more arborvitae growth in the coming growing season. Pinching back leaves or growth tips will also encourage the new growth. New arborvitae growth will appear a bright yellow green, contrasting with the rest of the plant, and be very soft. As it ages, the arborvitae growth

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