The Q&A Archives: arbovitae

Question: Hi, I live in Bergen County, NJ and we will be having 9 arbovitae planted this Friday. The landscaper is installing a soaker hose for us. Can you tell us the best way to take care of these shrubs so that they establish themselves? They are being used as a privacy fence (so we don't have to see the neighbors yard;)) Thank you.

Answer: Arborvitaes are reasonably easy care shrubs. They need soil that drains well so be sure to ask your landscaper to ensure the soil is well draining. If not, amend the planting bed with organic matter to help facilitate good drainage. Aside from deep watering once or twice a week during the growing season, your arborvitae won't need much other care. Since your landscaper has set up a soaker hose be sure to ask how often and for how long you need to run the water (the answer will depend upon the type of soaker hose and your water pressure). Feeding should be done annually in the spring. Use an 8-8-8 fertilizer formulation. You won't need to feed your new shrubs until next spring. Best wishes with your new arborvitae!

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