How to Plant and Grow an Arborvitae

The arborvitae is a coniferous evergreen tree that belongs to the cypress family. Arborvitae trees grow well in the cooler climates of the northeastern United States and Canada; they do not tolerate warm climates very well. Arborvitae can grow up to 6 feet tall with a width of around 3 feet. This makes them an ideal candidate for hedges, garden borders or as a natural privacy fence. The height and width of these trees is petite enough to accommodate pruning into various shapes. The versatility and hardiness of arborvitae trees contributes to their popularity within the gardening community. This article will teach you how to plant and grow arborvitae trees in your own yard by following 4 easy steps.

Step 1 - Decide Where to Plant Trees

Before you begin, create a plan that clearly defines how you will be using the arborvitae trees and where they will be placed in your yard. If you’re planning to use the arborvitae as a privacy fence or garden boarder, measure the length of the future fence and use it to determine how many trees you will need to purchase. As the trees will mature into a thickness of 3 feet, calculate the number of trees you need if you space them 2½ feet apart.

Step 2 - Purchase Healthy Trees from Nursery

Work with a reputable local nursery that has enough arborvitae trees to complete your specific project. If you’re making a very long fence or garden border, consider visiting a large wholesale nursery.

Purchase trees that are at least 4 feet tall when measured from the trunk. The taller the arborvitae the older the tree. Mature trees will increase your success rate because younger trees often die after transplanting.

If you’re buying arborvitaes for a fence or border, select trees of similar length and width. This will allow your fence or border to look more consistent as it grows in to fill the gaps between trees.

Step 3 - Plant Arborvitae Trees

For each tree, dig a hole in the soil that is at least 2 inches deeper and wider than its nursery container. Gently remove the arborvitae from its container: pull on the trunk with your left hand while simultaneously massaging the container with your right. If the tree is a particularly difficult to remove, saturate the soil of the pot with water instead of trying to pull harder. The water will act as a lubricant.

Place the arborvitae in its hole, and fill in the remaining space of the cavern with the dirt you removed during digging. Immediately soak the plant with water after planting to be sure that there aren’t any air bubbles trapped underneath the soil.