How to Plant Arborvitae? — Our Guide with Tips (that Work)

One of the most popular cosmetic plants, arborvitae trees are a anchor in landscape designs, both commercial and residential. These gloomy sustenance, easy to grow trees are a gardening pipe dream that can play a variety show of roles. Whether you ’ re looking to grow a privacy hedge to keep prying eyes out of your yard or a windbreak to slow winter squalls, planting arborvitae is a commodity idea .
Growing arborvitae international relations and security network ’ thymine crafty, but to get your trees off on the best foot possible, it ’ sulfur substantive you know how to plant them. so let ’ s talk about the what, when, where, and how .

Design Ideas

historically, arborvitae was a prevailing implant with Native Americans for their medicative purposes. The name itself means “ tree of life. ”
Over time their aim has changed, but they are however among the most popular trees in landscape designs. Known for their dense evergreen leaf, easy-going nature, and iconic pyramid shape, they besides work well as :

  • Hedges
  • Privacy Screens
  • Living Fences
  • Windbreaks
  • Ornamental Plantings

A picture of a arborvitae that is zoomed in

When to Plant

Like many other plants, it ’ s best to plant trees and shrubs when they are not actively growing to minimize stress. This typically means recently winter or early on give, depending on winter conditions and how soon the dirt is feasible ( i.e., does the soil freeze or not ) .
Avoid planting in the fall. Trees need time to establish their etymon systems before winter. This can be done, though, if you live in a climate where the winter conditions are balmy .

Where to Plant

Consider planting your trees in the follow places :

  • Plant on the north side of your property to create an efficient winter windbreak.
  • Plant on the south or west side of your property to shade your home from the sun.
  • Plant wherever you need to construct a privacy screen, a living fence, or a hedge.

Arborvitae growing among a garden of bright colored flowers

Growing Zones

Arborvitae are broad of many climates, thriving in USDA growing zones 3 through 7. They are not as broad with drought, and as such, they don ’ thyroxine handle the hotness a well as the cold .

Sun Requirements

Choose a spot in your landscape where trees will be in either full sun or partial shade ; they need a minimum of six hours of mastermind sunlight daily .

Type of Soil

It ’ s a common misbelief that arborvitae will grow anywhere you stick them, careless of the land type or terrain. Their expansive root systems need to grow easily through the territory, and they don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate like to have their “ feet ” boggy, so they prefer soils with the following characteristics :

  • Well-draining
  • Free of rocks
  • Rich in organic matter
  • pH values between 6.5 and 8.0

If your land doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate fit those parameters, you can amend it by adjusting the ph, digging out large rocks, or adding finished compost or well-rotted manure .

Proper Spacing

Arborvitaes are much planted close together when they are young ; as they grow they don ’ t have the quad they need for both above ground and below-ground growth .
Trees that grow tall must have a broad unfold root organization that grows wide and deep to anchor the top-heavy plants into the grind. To ensure they have enough room when in full mature, it ’ s crucial to space young trees properly .
Arborvitae that are spaced out perfectly from each other
How far apart should to plant ?
The suffice to this depends upon what lies nearby and the variety you are planting. For case, the Green Giant varieties needs more room than the emerald green varieties.

In cosmopolitan :

  • Space them ten feet from other arborvitaes to account for their mature size unless you plan on trimming them regularly as they grow. As they mature, they will fill in the gaps.
  • Spaces shrubs grown for a hedge slightly closer together, leaving about five feet between them.
  • Space them twenty feet from other large trees to avoid competing for water and soil nutrients.
  • Space them ten feet from your home, garage, or paved areas to avoid encroachment.

Arborvitae growing on the side of a house

Planting Steps

The steps to getting arborvitae in the ground are similar to planting other trees. Overall, the process is fairly straightforward but will require some physical department of labor, specially if large .
Try to plant on cloudiness days or during the cool even hours to minimize planting stress or shock .

  1. Use a round-point digging shovel to dig a hole that is approximately as deep as the container and twice to three times as wide, setting the dirt removed to the side. If the arborvitae is wrapped in burlap, dig the hole a couple of inches deeper than the root ball and two to three times as wide.
  1. Remove the tree from its container or burlap wrap, depending on how it was purchased. To get it free from a container, you can lay it on the ground, on its side, and tap the pot to help loosen it. If need be, carefully cut the container free. Burlap and any wires securing it to the root ball should be carefully cut, removing as much as possible.
  1. Loosen the outside of the root ball slightly with your hands, taking care to not damage the roots or break any off.
  1. Remove any roots that appear dead or show signs of damage. Healthy roots appear white and are firm to the touch.
  1. Set the plant in the center of the planting hole, so the root ball’s top is even with the soil surface or slightly above it. To raise it in the hole you can add a few inches of the fill dirt to the bottom, creating a slight mound.

A hedge of arborvitae

  1.  Fan the roots out in the bottom of the hole to encourage outward growth.
  1. Backfill the hole with the removed soil, until it is even with the soil surface or slightly above.
  1. Periodically tamp the soil to remove any air pockets, while ensuring the tree stays upright. This may be easier if you have another set of hands to hold the tree in place.
  1. When the hole is completely backfilled, water the soil well to soak the entire root ball.
  1. Anchor the trees to the north and south to prevent crooked growth due to winds.
  1. Lay down a three-inch layer of mulch around the tree’s base, taking care to keep the mulch about one inch from the trunk.

Arborvitae that have have been pruned to be cone shaped

Caring Guide

One of the great things about growing arborvitae is they are fairly abject sustenance and don ’ t need a distribute of extra pamper. however, it ’ s crucial they get both the water and fertilizer needed for optimum increase .

Watering Frequency

newly planted trees need approximately 20 to 30 gallons of body of water a week, which equates to 1 to 2 ” of rain. After the first or second growing season, the solution system is established enough you can taper off the watering slightly .
If you live in an area where rain is less than this, you will need to urine the tree by hand. When water, longer soakings at infrequent intervals are better than short, even bursts of urine. This helps to drive roots deeper in search of water system and makes plants more tolerant of drought .


Trees are continually pulling nutrients from the soil to complete the metabolic processes that result in emergence. As they do this, they continuously use up the dirty nutrients, making it necessary to replenish them over time. This is where fertilizers come into play for arborvitae .
To prevent food insufficiency symptoms, apply an general-purpose, landscape fertilizer formulated for trees and shrubs in the leap as plants come out of quiescence. typically fertilizers higher in nitrogen such as a 3-1-1 proportion work very well. Follow the manufacturer ’ south directions to avoid over-fertilizing. While a little fertilizer is commodity, excessively much is a bad matter .
A bunch of different types of arborvitae grown alongside a house

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How Fast Do They Grow?

A. They are relatively aggressive, which lends to their popularity as a privacy hedge, living argue, windbreak, etc. Depending upon the diverseness, they can put on two to three feet of erect growth per annum .

Q. Why is My Arborvitae Turning Brown?

A. They most normally turn brown in the summer due to lack of moisture, specially during senior high school temperatures. Browning in the winter is from winter burn off, stemming from a combination of lack of water, fart, and low temperatures. Make certain to check out our article on browning for all the possible considerations if your tree is starting to turn brown .
Arborvitae that is turning yellow and brown

Q. Do Deer Eat Them?

A. unfortunately, deer will eat many varieties. A choice few types have evolved through breeding and experiment that appear to be deer-resistant. however, if deer populations are starving, they will eat about anything, including the deer-resistant varieties.

Q. Can I Plant Them in Rocks?

A. Arborvitae grows best when planted in soils that are loose and complimentary of rocks or heavy dirt clods. They have extensive settle systems needing dirty they can easily grow in, allowing the roots to move both down through the soil and laterally .

Q. Does They Need to Be Pruned?

A. No, they don ’ t need pruning like some other trees or shrubs. They will naturally grow into their long-familiar conic supreme headquarters allied powers europe. Some people choose to trim their arborvitae back to maintain a specific size or to keep it from creeping excessively close to their homes or onto adjacent properties .

Q. Is It Poisonous to Dogs and Cats?

A. Arborvitae is not considered highly poisonous to dogs. If it is consumed in eminent quantities, it can cause skin rashes or gastrointestinal discomfort .

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Category : How To

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