Ask a Question forum→Emerald Arborvitae Spacing

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New York
Jarvis27
Mar 14, 2019 3:35 PM CST
I am looking to build a privacy hedge in my backyard. I have 100 ft to cover. I've been told that i should space the emerald arborvitae plants roughly 3 feet apart, which means i will need to purchase around 33/34 tree's. I have a couple questions concerns that I am looking for help with before i purchase and plant these trees. There is a good 50 ft stretch that I plan to plant the tree's that is sandwiched in between a fence and a pool w/ patio which gives me limited space. I would say about 30 ft has a 3 ft wide area between the fence and edge of the patio, while the remaining 20 ft there is only about 2 ft wide area. My main two questions are (1) Is this enough room to plant these tree's to grow and survive and (2) are the root's of this tree shallow or do they grow large? I want to make sure that the roots will not grow and lift the pavers or affect the wall structure of the pool.

If these are not recommended, is there anything else I should look at for privacy that would grow within this tight space?

Thanks in advance.

Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Mar 14, 2019 5:41 PM CST
Standards or dwarf?
If they are standard, I would recommend 5' apart on center. That would be 21 arborvitae.
They can ultimately reach 30 feet high and 6' wide. If you area dimensions are correct, it sounds like you do not have enough room.
I don't think that the dwarves are that small. Maybe 8-10 feet high and 3-4' wide.
If your space is that tight why not consider a lattice fence which would afford privacy and beauty. Then grow plants and vines that would add to the privacy. You could try roses, Clematis, trumpet vines, etc.
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Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 14, 2019 5:45 PM CST
What Bill said. Thumbs up
Name: kathy
Michigan (Zone 4b)
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
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katesflowers
Mar 14, 2019 6:52 PM CST
I agree, Bill. I've been watching my distant neighbor's trees grow over the years - they have gotten tall but also wider than I expected. Very dense, makes a great - tall - fence.
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Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
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Leftwood
Mar 15, 2019 7:04 AM CST
There is no standard or dwarf Emerald Green arborvitae (original name: Smaragd). It is what it is, and it is a semi-dwarf. 3 foot on center spacing(from the center of one tree to the center of the next) is what I would recommend, too. But no, they are not narrow enough by your pool. I question if a 3ft width is enough room, too. Certainly, you had better have a maintenance free fence, because in time, you won't be able to get to it to paint or stain.

Do realize that planting anything close to a pool presents additional organic debris falling into the pool. And FYI, a big mistake people make when landscaping near a pool is planting so the end surface grade is slanting toward, or level with the pool. This is antagonistic to the very basic tenet of pool maintenance: keep debris and nutrients out of the pool. Grading should ALWAYS be away from the pool. And, if you use a mulch that periodically needs additions, than that surface will also rise accordingly.

A 2 foot wide space for planting translates to only about 1.5ft (or less) of actual plant space. Any growth closer than 6 inches from a tall fence will thin out from lack of light. While this is tolerable out in the yard, I doubt you will like walking right by it every day near your pool. I don't think there is any tall hedge material that will that will perform satisfactorily with relatively low maintenance in such a confined space. How about some trellis work that you can cover with an appropriate vine?
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Mar 15, 2019 8:18 AM CST
I just saw a dwarf variety listed in on-line nursery catalogs.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Leftwood
Mar 15, 2019 1:15 PM CST
I would love to see those listings, Bill - a "dwarf variety of Emerald Green arborvitae". If you just saw it, especially multiple times, it should be easy to go back in your browser history and prove me wrong. Unlike most people, it seems, I am very willing to admit when I am wrong.

On the other hand, if the catalogs are saying Emerald Green is a dwarf cultivar, well that is a relative term for most people, and perfectly fine. But they are not saying there is a dwarf type and a standard type of Emerald Green arborvitae, and the American Conifer Society lists a dwarf as growing 1-6 inches a year. http://conifersociety.org/coni...

Maybe we are talking about two different things?
- Me: the cultivar Emerald Green arborvitae in question
- You: arborvitaes in general
Confused
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
[Last edited by Leftwood - Mar 15, 2019 2:36 PM (+)]
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New York
Jarvis27
Mar 15, 2019 1:19 PM CST
Thanks everyone, this is helpful information.

Leftwood - The fence is a standard 6ft wooden fence and is my neighbors so no maintenance on my part. I wanted to plant the trees so that i could have mare than 6ft of privacy as i can see their first floor windows pretty easily.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Mar 15, 2019 4:04 PM CST
I can't find it now either. I just googled the plants name and I can't find a dwarf listing either.
Let's just say I am in error due to not enough coffee or poor reading skills! Rolling on the floor laughing
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Leftwood
Mar 15, 2019 7:37 PM CST
Whoever is "in error", it's good to know there have been no grudges made here! Thumbs up
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates

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