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Old 05-19-2009, 06:46 PM   #1
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Emerald Green Arborvitae


My yard borders on a parking lot. We've decided to put up a living fence of Emerald Green Arborvitae. We're going to be putting in trees over ~70 foot length. We'll be planting 4 foot trees (2 gallon?). I'm trying to plan what to do and have done some investigating. We were going to do this in stages over a number of months or maybe even a year.

Would it be better to start at one end and work to the other in stages or plant every third or fourth one, then plant additional stages between them until its full?

What is the minimum spacing between trees to get a gapless hedge? I've read as little as 2 feet although 3 feet seems more common.

Is there a best way to prepare the ground? We plan on digging up the existing plants and tilling because it hasn't been tilled in almost 20 years. Is there a best recipe of stuff to till in?

Water occasionally and heavily to keep ground damp for first year? Miracle Grow once a year? Ignore it like it's not there otherwise?

Is pruning recommended? We planted two EGArborvitae by our old house 25ish years ago. One was splayed almost flat by a snow storm and was cut down. The other is now 20ish feet tall with three bulbous heads. Looks like a triffid (of Day of the Triffids fame) I've heard that training to a single leader will make the plants more resistant to snow damage and give it a straighter, narrower profile. Is this a good idea? Or even true?
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:55 PM   #2
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Emerald Green Arborvitae


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My yard borders on a parking lot. We've decided to put up a living fence of Emerald Green Arborvitae. We're going to be putting in trees over ~70 foot length. We'll be planting 4 foot trees (2 gallon?). I'm trying to plan what to do and have done some investigating. We were going to do this in stages over a number of months or maybe even a year.

Would it be better to start at one end and work to the other in stages or plant every third or fourth one, then plant additional stages between them until its full?

What is the minimum spacing between trees to get a gapless hedge? I've read as little as 2 feet although 3 feet seems more common.

Is there a best way to prepare the ground? We plan on digging up the existing plants and tilling because it hasn't been tilled in almost 20 years. Is there a best recipe of stuff to till in?

Water occasionally and heavily to keep ground damp for first year? Miracle Grow once a year? Ignore it like it's not there otherwise?

Is pruning recommended? We planted two EGArborvitae by our old house 25ish years ago. One was splayed almost flat by a snow storm and was cut down. The other is now 20ish feet tall with three bulbous heads. Looks like a triffid (of Day of the Triffids fame) I've heard that training to a single leader will make the plants more resistant to snow damage and give it a straighter, narrower profile. Is this a good idea? Or even true?
If you have the space, you might want to consider Leyland Cypress instead, as they grow much taller and fuller, and according to people here, EGA are attractive to deer, if that's a problem in your area.

I don't think EGA's grow 70', moreso 12'-14' on average with a width of about 4', but LC easily do.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:50 PM   #3
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Emerald Green Arborvitae


I don't think we have deer for miles. Well inside city limits.

The 70' is horizontal. That's the border with the parking lot. I'm looking at something between 24 and 36 trees depending on spacing.

We want the EGA for it's lighter color and narrow profile. The Leland spreads more than we want. What I really wanted was Italian Cypress, but they won't grow in St. Louis.
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:31 PM   #4
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Emerald Green Arborvitae


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I don't think we have deer for miles. Well inside city limits.

The 70' is horizontal. That's the border with the parking lot. I'm looking at something between 24 and 36 trees depending on spacing.

We want the EGA for it's lighter color and narrow profile. The Leland spreads more than we want. What I really wanted was Italian Cypress, but they won't grow in St. Louis.
I understand why you want EGA instead b/c it's more compact, but it will take a bit of time for all that to fill in.

I also understand that LC grows wide, but it can also be trimmed, and has a softer look.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:29 PM   #5
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Emerald Green Arborvitae


Lelands are pretty short lived 20 years max. How did your other Arborvitae do over the winter in St. Louis? When I lived in Iowa we saw lots of die off from the cold winters.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:09 PM   #6
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Emerald Green Arborvitae


One was killed by snow damage, not cold. And I remember that right after we left that house where we planted the arborvitae, we had a -13F winter which is like the second coldest day I've seen in half a century. So cold isn't an issue.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:48 AM   #7
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Emerald Green Arborvitae


I would space that variety 3 feet apart. Amend the soil by adding one part compost, one part fresh topsoil, and one part sand (for drainage). If your soil is that old, I would remove it.

Water them as needed. Feel the soil to see if it is dry.

It would be better if you started at one end and continue on from there. In this way, you don't have to worry about fitting additional Arborvitae in between existing plants.
Arborvitae are pretty hardy. They are not fast growers, but are a good choice in narrow locations.

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