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Thuja Trees for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

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Thuja Trees – Buying & Growing Guide

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by John Haryasz | Horticulture Writer and Landscape Designer – last update on January 31, 2022

You may know thuja trees as arborvitaes. But no matter what you call them, these plants show consistent evergreen foliage that is incredibly useful for creating privacy hedges and windbreaks. Thuja trees also come in several varieties, each of which has slight differences in texture, color, and overall form.

How to Plant Thuja Trees

There are a few ways to plant a thuja tree in your landscape. Most often, people use these trees to create hedges. If that is your aim, you’ll need to focus on spacing. The spacing you provide between each plant depends on the species you have. While some thuja trees are incredibly narrow, others can have a significant spread. Overall, three to eight feet between each plant should work.

You can also grow thuja trees to add textural accents to a garden design or create background greenery for your more showy ornamental plants. Either way, you should give your thuja tree plenty of sunlight, water, and alkaline soil.

How to Grow Thuja Trees

  • When. The ideal time to plant a thuja tree is in the early spring after the last frost. It is also possible to plant a thuja tree in the early fall.
  • Where. Most thuja tree varieties will prefer full sunlight locations. It also helps to have soil with a high pH level.
  • How. The depth of the planting hole you dig should match the height of your thuja tree’s root ball. Ensure the width of the hole is double the rootball’s width. Backfill with healthy soil, and provide water after backfilling.

How to Care for Thuja Trees

  • Watering. A newly planted thuja tree should receive water about once per day or once every other day. Once your thuja tree has established itself, you should give it water one to three times per month during the active growing season.
  • Nutrients. Sprinkle a granular fertilizer around the base of your thuja tree about once per year. The fertilizer you use should have a well-balanced formula. However, fertilization needs for this plant are generally low.
  • Pruning. Prune your thuja tree once or twice per year to remove any dead or broken branches. Keep pruning minimal as these plants do not sprout new growth from old wood. Thankfully, you won’t need to shape these plants too much, as most take on a pleasing form on their own.
  • Pollination. Most thuja trees spread their pollen via the wind. Pollination occurs in spring and summer when these plants are in bloom. However, pollination is not usually a concern for this plant as people rarely, if ever, grow a thuja tree for its flowers or fruits.