Arborvitae Emerald Green
Arborvitae Emerald Green makes a fast growing privacy screen for full sun that thrives in heat and humidity and is often used as a screen. Holds its color throughout the winter and tolerates drought when established. The rich green of its foliage and handsome, narrow form make this conifer an excellent choice to plant in a row as a formal screen. Leave it un-sheared for the natural effect of its stately form. Emerald Green Arborvitae are cylindrical cedar trees. If they are allowed to grow without any pruning, they grow tall and thin. If they are pruned on top they will put their growth into growing bushier but not add as much height.
Mature Height: 14 to 16 ft.
Mature Width: 4-6 ft.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Foliage Color: Glossy Bright Green
Growth Form: Dense upright and conical
Soil Conditions: Grow best in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Will not tolerate extremely dry conditions.
Growing Zone: 3-7
Water Requirements: Well Drained Soil
Does Not Ship To: CA, WA, OR, AZ
Arborvitae Emerald Green is unarguably the shrub most commonly used to create an evergreen hedge, here and around the country. Gardeners who are tired of seeing arborvitae used over and over again for hedges, often ask me for a comparable substitute. There isn’t one. Arborvitae Emerald Green are the mainstay of evergreen hedges because they’re perfect for creating a “green” fence or boundary.
Arborvitae are a dense evergreen shrub with a long life. They have no serious insect pest problems in our area, as well as no common leaf diseases or blights. They’re tolerant of our local alkaline soils and don’t have any difficulty enduring our scorching summer or cold winter conditions.
Most people use the Arborvitae Emerald Green as a privacy barrier to block out noisy neighbors. The Arborvitae Emerald Green only grows 14 to 16′ feet tall, so it’s perfect for small landscaping areas. If you want to create a privacy barrier with the Arborvitae Emerald Green we would recommend that you plant 2′-3′ feet apart and follow our planting instructions. Arborvitae trees are a deep and rich green color year-round, which displays how robust they are. Like the Leyland Cypress, their foliage grows in flat sprays and, close up, the needles appear covered in fine green scales.
The Emerald Green Thuja (American Arborvitae) is a perfect evergreen for smaller spaces. Grow these trees as living screens that won’t overpower your entire lawn and garden with their size. The Arborvitae Emerald Green grows to a mature height of sixteen feet high by 4 to 6 feet wide, and it grows between one and two feet per year under optimum growing conditions.
For best results, plant these trees six feet apart to enjoy their pyramid shape or four feet apart for a dense hedge.
This selection is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after evergreens because it maintains its lush green color during the winter. (Many arborvitae trees turn a bronze or brown color on the tips of their branches during the winter months).
Arborvitae Emerald Green ranges from Nova Scotia to Manitoba south through the Great Lakes region and along the Appalachians to North Carolina and Tennessee. In the north it tends to be closely aligned with low, acidic, wet areas such as river banks and bog edges. At its mountainous southern extent it becomes altogether less common and more likely found on limestone cliffs.
This species, seldom sought by lumbermen (besides those used for cabin roofing shingles) because of its “weakness,” had been the premier wood for canoe frames for millennia. Its tendency to separate at the growth rings provided thin, super lightweight, flexible and rot resistant material that could easily be shaped into ribs or used for planking.
Arborvitae Emerald Green is widely adaptable and there are a great variety of cultivars available from which to choose. It performs well in humid regions. Provide a site with full to partial sunlight, on consistently moist soil. Heavy clay and light sandy soils should be well amended with organic matter to improve drainage and water retention respectively. Arborvitae Emerald Green trees grow best in full sun, but they can withstand partial shade (afternoon sun is best in this case).
How to Plant an Arborvitae Emerald Green:
Never plant Arborvitae Emerald Green deeper than originally planted in the pot. As a rule we always say that before you mulch you should still be able to see the soil from the original pot. Planting to deep can cause rotting of the stem and death to the tree. Arborvitae Emerald Green are fairly drought tolerant, however they grow very slow without adequate water. Staking young trees is recommended to minimize the stress on the stem from winds blowing the tree. When tying trees to stakes remember the tree will continue to grow. Loosely tie the tree with several twist ties to allow for growth. Check trees every three months and loosen as needed. If this is not done, the twist tie will grow into the tree causing injury. A Pro tip that we can offer is to use a short length of old garden hose and run the tie wire through the hose. this will protect the trunk of the tree from being damaged by the tie wire. The one question that comes up often when talking to customers is “when is the best time to plant.”? For the most part, container trees can be planted year around, provided the ground isn’t frozen. Below Virginia many nurseries and Christmas tree growers field plant year around, weather permitting. When planting a potted tree, remember the only water source the tree has, is its small root ball, and all the water the tree uses must come from them until new roots can grow into the surrounding soil. New trees should be watered twice weekly (Minimum), under hot drier conditions possibly more. Care should be taken not to over water. More trees die from over watering than under.
How to Water an Arborvitae Emerald Green:
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the plant a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks.
How to Mulch an Arborvitae Emerald Green:
We highly recommend that you mulch your Arborvitae Emerald Green with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or trunk of the plant.
How to Fertilize an Arborvitae Emerald Green:
We recommend when planting your plants to use Bio-tone starter fertilizer by Espoma. We have trialed many so called “starter fertilizers” over the years and have come to rely on Bio-tone exclusively for our own use. Simply mix the recommended amount of Bio-tone into the back fill soil and water in generously when back filled. Bio-tone® Starter Plus is an all-natural plant food that is combined with a stronger concentration of our beneficial bacteria along with both endo and ecto mycorrhizae. Basically the “good” fungus in Bio-tone colonizes on the growing roots of your newly planted plant and does not allow disease causing fungus to attack the new roots. It has also shown promise in stimulating the growth of the new roots which means quicker establishment for you plant. After establishment and during the following years we recommend Holly-tone used at the recommended rates for your arborvitae ’emerald green’. It is also organic and slow release which will feed your trees the proper amount of nutrients over a period of time rather than all at once which can burn the root tips and actually have the opposite effect of slowing down plant growth. It also will help to maintain the acid level in the soil that Arborvitaes need to thrive.
How to Prune an Arborvitae Emerald Green:
Arborvitae Emerald Green trees take on a tall, broad-based, conical shape naturally if left un-pruned. However, a young tree can be trained and its growth restrained if pruning is done on a regular basis. The tree’s overall growth can be controlled by pruning its side branches annually, cutting back each branch back by about one-third, and by topping the tree slightly during each pruning session. For trees planted in a row, you could also prune them into a formal hedge by shearing back the entire outer-facing portion of each tree two or three times each year, allowing the tree surfaces that face each other to grow unchecked (See Below).
How to Shear an Arborvitae Emerald Green:
The Arborvitae Emerald Green grows well without pruning. In fact, this is one tree that needs no pruning other than to remove dead branches. If you do decide to hedge this tree, make sure that when you trim, the bottom of the tree is wider than the top. If the top is wider than the bottom, the tree will die back from the ground up. Shearing, as mentioned, is generally not needed however for a formal hedge start shearing when the tree reaches 3 or 4 feet in height, cutting only the sides, remove no more than 3 or 4 inches of growth. This will cause the tree to grow thicker. If you want the tree to grow tall don’t cut the top leader, just shape the sides. The best time to shear is after a new growth spurt finishes and the new growth begins to mature. Growth will go from a smooth, greasy texture, to a rougher snake skin look. Shearing twice a year is not recommended with Arborvitae. To keep your trees at a particular height requires cutting the central leader and then shearing all outside branches. This will control the tree for many years. Pruning can help make arborvitae emerald greens grow thicker. It is recommended that you disinfect your shears before you begin and even after each plant to prevent disease spread. You can prune dead or diseased limbs anytime of the year.
History and Lore of the Arborvitae Emerald Green:
The name “arborvitae” means “tree of life” in Latin and was applied to the Eastern species, Thuja occidentalis, by early french explorers who noted that Native Americans used its foliage for medicinal purposes. Eastern arborvitae is the species most commonly used in Midwestern yards, although giant arborvitae (T. plicata), a larger Western species, is also popular because “it has a reputation for being more deer-resistant,” Riske says. For the living tree the name arborvitae, which means “tree of life,” was given by French explorers who had been cured of scurvy by local native people using tea made of the foliage and sap that is rich in vitamin C. Because of his appreciation for this medicinal tree of the new world, Jacques Cartier sent specimens home to be grown in France in the mid-1500s.As for longevity, the name arborvitae is a perfect fit in this regard as well. Members of this species are the oldest trees in eastern North America. Although they once were believed to be a short lived tree, some of the gnarly, ancient cliff-dwelling specimens have been aged at more than 1000 years. Arborvitae Emerald Green (Thuja occidentalis) was one of the first North American native trees to be cultivated in Europe. Its common name was a symbol of its importance to weary travelers, more so than its own long life. Such a commonly used landscape plant rarely has the romantic appeal of this one.