Answer: The mulch should be two to three inches deep. Spread it out in a flat layer over the root area. Keep it an inch or two away from the trunk, it should not touch the bark. Do not heap it up around the base of the plant.
The soil should be kept damp like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet/saturated and not dried out. To know if you need to water, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp, do not water yet. When you do water, apply it slowly and deeply at the roots so it soaks down to the deepest roots. After watering, wait a few hours and then dig down to see how far the water soaked in; sometimes this can be surprising.
Good luck with your arborvitaes!
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