The Q&A Archives: planting arborvitae trees

Question: I have 12 5ft tall arborvitae trees to plant in 22 ft space for privacy/hedge. How deep and far do I plant them. Also do I need anything else in addtion to top soil for planting?

Answer: The planting hole should be several times wider and the same depth as the container; the soil should be loosened to encourage the roots to spread outward into the native soil. The plant should be set at the same depth as it grew in the container, no deeper. Replace the soil in the hole and press it back into place firmly. Water slowly and thoroughly to wet the entire root area and settle the soil. Mulch with several inches of organic mulch in a flat layer over the root area. (Do not allow it to touch the stem or trunk.) This will help keep the soil evenly moist, hold down weeds, and also slowly feed the soil as it breaks down over time. I would not recommend adding top soil. Fertilizer should only be added if soil tests indicate it is needed. The most important thing you can do is keep them watered; watering is done to supplement rain, if needed. To know if you need to water, dig into the osil with your finger. If it is still damp, do not water yet. When you do water, make sure it soaks in deeply. It is better to water deeply less often than to sprinkle lightly every day. Depe I should mention that depending on the specific cultivar you have, the spacing may be way too close together. I would suggest you consult with your retailer as to what the estimated mature width of the trees is and space them accordingly. Also, the retailer may have specific planting instructions that should be followed if there is a warranty on the plants. Please check with them about that as well. Good luck with your hedge!

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