Did the winter winds leave your landscape looking bland? Well, you can bring your yard back to life by planting arborvitaes. These versatile evergreens don't need much and can grow almost anywhere, allowing your landscape to liven up in no time.
What is an Arborvitae?
Known as "the tree of life," an arborvitae is an evergreen tree that features a conical frame with thick layers of flat-fanned foliage. This plant is not only perfect for cold northern landscapes, but it also requires minimal maintenance. While most arborvitaes perform best in moist soil with full to partial sunlight, these plants can survive and thrive in almost any environment, whether it be rocky terrain or a shaded space.
Places to Plant
Since arborvitaes can grow in all kinds of climate conditions, they can be planted almost anywhere. However, you can improve the look and feel of your outdoor living space by planting arborvitaes in one of these perfect places.
Add some splendor to your yard by planting small-medium arborvitaes in the corners of your yard. With a little pruning, you can turn these arborvitaes into terrific topiaries.
Frame your front door with a pair of smaller arborvitae cultivars. These tall and skinny plants will break up your home's horizontal lines and make your front door the focal point.
Plant a row of arborvitaes on the edge of your property to create a living privacy screen. As the arborvitaes grow, they will not only provide you with year-round privacy, but they will also act as a windbreak, protecting you and your flower beds from harsh winds.
Once you've decided where to plant your arborvitae, follow these steps to successfully acclimate your arborvitae to your landscape.
Step 1. Plant after Purchase
You can give your arborvitae a good start by planting it a couple days after you've purchased it. If time doesn't permit, water the plant every day and avoid placing it on heat-absorbent surfaces (cement, asphalt and concrete) for they will dehydrate your arborvitae.
Step 2. Dig a Deep Hole
Prepare your planting site by digging a hole that is both deep and wide enough for your arborvitae's root ball. If the hole is too shallow, the arborvitae won't have enough room to root. Also, if the hole is too deep, its roots will suffocate due to the lack of oxygen. Ensure that your arborvitae is planted at the correct depth by digging a hole that is as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. This will provide the plant with plenty of space to spread its roots.
Step 3. Add Amendments
Although arborvitaes can grow in most types of soil, you should add amendments to your soil if it's made up of mostly heavy clay or grainy sand. Sprinkle Master Garden Premium Garden Soil for Trees and Shrubs and an acid-based plant food in your newly dug hole; these amendments will not only improve your soil's fertility, but it will also help your arborvitae retain water and necessary nutrients.
Step 4. Put the Plant in
As you place the plant in the hole, make sure that the top of the root ball is even with the surface of the soil. Fill in the hole by packing soil around the root ball. After the soil is packed in, you can eliminate additional air pockets and settle the soil around the roots with a thorough watering. Use a soaker hose to supply water directly to the plant's roots.
Step 5. Mulch in the Moisture
Help your arborvitae retain moisture by laying wood mulch around the base of the plant. Mulch will enrich the soil with extra minerals and inhibit weed growth. As you apply the mulch, leave about 4 inches between the mulch and the plant's trunk. When mulch is placed directly against an arborvitae's trunk, it can scorch the bark, causing it to decay or even die.