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Narrow Trees For Small Yards that Pack a Punch

Narrow Trees For Small Yards that Pack a Punch

Finding the right tree is always a difficult decision. This is particularly true when you’re dealing with a small yard. Because with limited real estate you need to make the best of every single inch of gardening space you have.

A great way to do this is by choosing a narrow tree for your small yard.

Trust me, I know a thing or two about small yards. And just because your yard is small does NOT mean that you don’t have the space for a beautiful tree. I’d argue that in most small yards you may even have space for two or three trees if you choose them wisely.

There are many narrow tree options that will fit into just about any landscape! Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • Goldspire Ginkgo
  • Forever Goldie Arborvitae
  • Crimson Pointe Flowering Plum
  • Tsukasa Silhouette Japanese Maple
  • Japanese Flagpole Flowering Cherry Tree
  • Slender Hinoki Cypress
  • Columnar Sweetgum Slender Silhouette
  • Sky Pencil Holly Tree
  • Frans Fontaine Hornbeam
  • Armstrong Gold® Maple
  • Weeping White Spruce
  • Blushing Delight™ Columnar Apple Tree
  • Moonglow, Blue Arrow, Skyrocket and Pencil Point Juniper

Keep reading for more details about each of these unique tight-space trees.

Goldspire Ginkgo

Ginkgo Goldspire Narrow Ornamental Tree
Ginkgo biloba ‘Goldspire’

Zones 4-9
Full Sun, Part Sun
14-15′ H x 5-6′ W (potentially 30′ H x 10′ W at full maturity*)
Growth Rate: Moderate
Purchase Here

The deep green foliage of Ginkgo ‘Goldspire’ (Ginkgo biloba ‘Goldspire’) has unmatched beauty. Unharmed by urban smog, the leaves will filter out the pollutants in the air to give you tons of fresh clean air. This narrow Gingko will provide shade and beautiful deep green backdrop for other plants to pop against. In the fall, the leaves of ‘Goldspire’ turn a beautiful shade of golden yellow that demand attention in your autumn garden.

*It’s important to note that Goldspire is a newer cultivar, so it’s difficult to know it’s full grown size. According to Dick Crum, aka Dr. Dirt, who has been writing newspaper columns about gardening for 45 years,

“Goldspire, Ginkgo biloba ‘Fastigata Blagon,’ is a recent introduction (2010) from France, so there is not much of a history other than the fact that it was a chance seedling with promise. It has a height of about 15 feet with a spread of 3-5′ in 10 years. Generally the height and spread of trees is given when they reach 30 years of age. So, we do not know the ultimate size of Goldspire. My guess is that it will double its 10 year size in 30 years.”

Dick Crum, aka Dr. Dirt

Forever Goldie Arborvitae

Forever Goldie Arborvitae Narrow Evergreen
Thuja plicata ‘4EVER’

Zones 3-8
Full Sun
12′ H x 3-4′ W
Growth Rate: Moderate, >1’/year
Purchase Here

Forever Goldie (Thuja plicata ‘4EVER’) has bright green foliage tinged with yellow. You’ll love how its foliage turns ‘gold with the cold.’ It’s glowing needles shine in the summer and is a beacon of brightness in cold, gloomy weather. This well-behaved tree doesn’t shed, so you’ll get maximum visual interest all year round. The arborvitae’s soft foliage and upright, pyramidal stature can also stand alone as a focal point on your property.

Newly planted Ginkgo Autumn Gold Tree

Quick Tip: These Tree Gator Tree Watering Bags are my go-to for ensuring new trees get the proper amount of water each week. The bags are slow watering so that your tree can establish strong and healthy roots.

Crimson Pointe Flowering Plum

Crimson Pointe Purple Leafed Plum Narrow Deciduous Tree
Prunus cerasifera ‘Cripoizam’. Photo by PrettyPurpleDoor.

Zones 4-9
Full Sun
20-25′ H x 5-6′ W
Growth Rate: Moderate
Purchase Here

‘Crimson Pointe’ Flowering Plum (Prunus x cerasifera ‘Cripoizam’) is a dense deciduous tree with a narrowly upright and columnar growth habit. In early spring, it’s covered in stunning clusters of fragrant pink-white flowers along the branches before the foliage appears. This beautiful, narrow tree has attractive deep purple foliage throughout each season.

What Blooms with What?

Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

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Tsukasa Silhouette Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum ‘Tsukasa Silhouette’
Zones 5-9
Part Sun
15-20′ H x 6-7′ W
Growth Rate: Slow
Purchase Here

Tsukasa Silhouette‘ (Acer palmatum ‘Tsukasa Silhouette’) is the first columnar form of the popular Japanese Maple tree. From an amazing ornamental hedge to a beautiful garden center piece, this narrow tree is incredibly versatile. The foliage is a cheerful lime green in the spring, turning a dark green through the summer, then changing to a brilliant red in the fall.

Quick Tip: if you’re looking for a skinny, year-round privacy tree for a tight space, head over to this post to see more my favorite narrow evergreens.

Japanese Flagpole Flowering Cherry Tree

Japanese Flagpole Flowering Cherry Tree Narrow Ornamental
Prunus ‘Amanogawa’

Zones 5-8
Full Sun, Part Sun
25′ H x 12′ W
Growth Rate: Fast, up to 2’/year

‘Flagpole’ Japanese flowering cherry (Prunus ‘Amanogawa’) is a narrow, columnar tree is perfect for those with limited space. In April and May, the upright branches are adorned with large, pale pink flowers. Bronze-green foliage turns to mid-green and then bursts into orange and red autumn color. If you have the space for it, ‘Flagpole’ is a stunning, slender option for your small garden bringing dramatic interest in all four seasons.

Slender Hinoki Cypress

Slender Hinoki False Cypress
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gracilis’. Photo courtesy of Washington State University.

Zones 4-8
Full Sun
8-12′ H x 4-5′ W
Growth Rate: Slow, 6-8″/year
Purchase Here

‘Slender’ (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gracilis’) is an open-branched, pyramidal variety of Hinoki Cypress with gracefully arching branchlets. Tiny, deep green needles with reddish new growth have a soft, ferny appearance and develop bronze coloring in winter. ‘Slender’ makes an excellent small, narrow evergreen tree for screening, hedges and background plantings.

Slender Silhouette Columnar Sweetgum

Columnar Sweetgum with Fall Interest
Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’

Zones 5-9
Full Sun
60′ H x 5-6′ W
Growth Rate: Fast
Purchase Here

Columnar Sweetgum ‘Slender Silhouette’ (Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’) is an incredibly narrow form of Sweetgum that grows quickly to over 60′ tall and barely 6′ wide. This tree will turn heads for years to come. It’s emerald green foliage turns an orange-red hue in the fall.

This tall, thin tree is perfect for tight spaces, small gardens or as a striking vertical accent. Some see American sweetgums as a nuisance for the fruit (a spiky seed-filled ball) that they drop. ‘Slender Silhouette’ produces only a little fruit, and it falls in a small area since the tree is so narrow.

Sky Pencil Holly Tree

Sky Pencil Holly Trees
ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’ Holly

Zones 5-9
Full-Part Sun
8-10′ H x 2′ W
Growth Rate: Low-Moderate,10-12″/yr
Purchase Here

Sky Pencil Holly (ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’) is an amazing evergreen pick if you need a narrow tree in a really tight space. It grows skyward naturally without the need for trimming. At only 2′ wide and 8-10′ high, it’s like an exclamation point (!) for your garden.

Quick Tip: If you’re loving these narrow tree options, you’ll also like my post about ornamental trees for your small garden.

Frans Fontaine Hornbeam

Frans Fontaine Hornbeam
Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine’, photo courtesy of Jake Parrillo

Zones 4-8
Full Sun-Shade
6’W x 25’H, 20’W x 50’H at maturity
Growth Rate: Moderate, >12″/year
Purchase Here

Frans Fontaine Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine’) was recommended to me by reader, Jake Parrillo. Jake told me that this is his favorite columnar tree for his landscape. Commonly known as European Hornbeam or Common Hornbeam, this narrow tree is long-lived, even in tough locations.

Frans Fontaine matures at 40-50′ tall but spreads only about 20′. In ten years, it seldom spreads more than 6-8′ while reaching a height of 20-25′. This is a very handsome tree with rich green summer foliage that turns a golden-yellow color for autumn interest.

Armstrong Gold® Maple

Acer rubrum ‘JFS-KW78’ PP25301
Zones 4-9
Full Sun
40′ H x 12′ W
Growth Rate: Fast
Purchase Here

Armstrong Gold® Maple is named for its gold-orange foliage making it a standout narrow tree in the fall.  But it’s got more going for it than just fall interest. It has a unique, columnar shape that makes it great for small space gardens.   In the spring, the tree sprouts small red flowers and bright red samaras (winged seeds characteristic of maples). During the spring and summer, it has light green leaves, gray bark, and red branches. Though its natural canopy is six feet, you can also prune or “limb up” the tree  to create an even higher clearance. 

Weeping White Spruce

Picea glauca ‘Pendula’
Zones 2-8
Full Sun
20-30′ H x 6-10′ W
Growth Rate: Fast
Purchase Here

The Weeping White Spruce features deep, blue-green foliage that turns a lighter green in spring. It grows tall and narrow with a delicately weeping pattern, making it ideal for small gardens that need a strong vertical element. This tree works great as a windbreak, unique privacy tree or as a stand alone focal point.

Blushing Delight™ Columnar Apple Tree

Malus domestica ‘Blushing Delight’
Zones 4-9
Full Sun
11′ H x 2-3′ W
Growth Rate: Moderate
Purchase Here

The upright columnar growing habit of the Blushing Delight™ Columnar Apple Tree makes it a real space saver. You can grow your Columnar Apple in a container on a patio or as a small tree in the ground.  The Blushing Delight produces its fruit on spurs along the main stem, so you don’t need a lot of room to grow them. Plus, it merges disease resistance with a narrow, upright habit, making it perfect for placing nearly anywhere.

Blue Juniper Evergreens

I really love junipers, especially because there are so many varieties that will fit into a smaller garden. Here are some of my favorite narrow juniper options:

Moonglow Juniper

Moonglow Juniper Narrow Evergreen Tree
Juniperus scopulorum ‘Moonglow’. Photo courtesy of Washington State University.

Zones 3-7
Full Sun
20′ H x 8′ W
Growth Rate: Fast, >2’/year
Purchase Here

‘Moonglow’ Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Moonglow’) is a compact conifer with attractive gray-green foliage year round. ‘Moonglow’ is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen with ornamental scale-like foliage and a narrowly upright and columnar growth habit. As its name suggests, its gray-green foliage will reflect light under strong moonlight.

Blue Arrow Juniper

Juniper Blue Arrow Narrow Evergreen tree
Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’. Photo courtesy of Washington State University.

Zones 4-8
Full Sun-Part Sun
16-20′ H x 2-4′ W
Growth Rate: Moderate, 15-18″/year
Purchase Here

Blue Arrow Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’) is a sun-loving narrow upright evergreen with powdery blue foliage. They create a beautiful privacy screen without taking up your whole yard. This is a colorful addition to your landscape with its tight, bright blue foliage. If you have a tight corner in a side yard, or a view you want to hide, plant several Blue Arrows to form a tall, narrow privacy screen.

Skyrocket Juniper

Skyrocket Juniper Narrow Evergreen Tree
Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’. Photo courtesy of Washington State University.

Zones 4-9
Full Sun
15-20′ H x 2-3′ W
Growth Rate: Moderate, >12″/year
Purchase Here

A thin, columnar Juniper, ;Skyrocket’ (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’) fits into very difficult places like narrow side yards between homes. Planting multiples of ‘Skyrocket’ creates a fantastic windbreak in both hot and cold climates. It’s vertical form also makes this a great accent plant in a mixed conifer garden.

Pencil Point Juniper

Compressa Juniper Narrow Evergreen Tree
Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’. Photo courtesy of Washington State University.

Zones 3-8
Full Sun, Part Sun, Shade
6′ H x 1′ W
Growth Rate: Slow, 1-6″/yr

Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’ or Pencil Point Juniper is a small and narrow evergreen has beautiful blue-green foliage that will shimmer in your sunny garden. Topping off at 6 feet tall and just one foot wide, Pencil Point Juniper is a great choice for slender gardens where space is limited. ‘Pencil Point’ makes an excellent screen or small hedge and prefers well-drained soil. Despite its size, this evergreen is a strong, drought-tolerant and cold-hardy option for even the toughest growing conditions.

Quick Tip: If you are looking to plant trees as a privacy screen, be sure to check out my post all about planting privacy trees as a hedge.

Wrapping Up

Just because you have a small yard doesn’t mean that you don’t have space for a tree! As you can see there are dozens of options for narrow trees that will pack quite the punch in your small landscape or tight space.

Remember to choose your slender tree not just because it’s narrow but because it’s unique and deserves a prominent place in your garden. Look for unique features like multi-season interest, beautiful flowers or even colorful foliage and you’ll be on your way to creating a beautiful landscape to enjoy for years to come.

If you haven’t quite found what you’re looking for, head over to my post about narrow evergreen trees for year round interest and privacy in the garden.

Lastly, you’re planning on planting a new tree, be sure to give it the proper amount water, especially when it’s young. I find the Tree gator (Amazon link) to be an incredible solution to slow-watering my trees so they can grow strong and healthy roots. The tree gator will slow drip the water to your tree over the course of several days to make your watering chores much easier!

Shop my Amazon storefront for my essential gardening books & tool recommendations!

More Gardening Posts You’ll Love

Looking for more info about trees? Check these articles out.

Shop my Amazon storefront for my essential gardening books & tool recommendations!

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How to plant Emerald Green Arborvitae privacy trees (distance, etc)

How to plant Emerald Green Arborvitae privacy trees (distance, etc)

In 2014, I planted 30 ‘Emerald Green’ Arborvitae privacy trees as a hedge in my backyard. Looking to plant privacy trees of your very own? In this post I’ll be sharing all the nitty-gritty about how to space out, plant and care for your arborvitae.

About Emerald Green Arborvitae

planting emerald green arborvitae privacy trees

‘Emerald Green’ arborvitae is an evergreen in the Cypress family (Cupressaceae). A slim tree of medium height, these arborvitae can reach 14-15′ high and 3-4′ wide. They can be grown in zones 2-7 and make a great privacy hedge.

Update: it’s now 6 years later and my trees look amazing and are super healthy. I only lost 1 of my 30 trees. But, the tragic death was because of an overgrown shrub in my neighbor’s yard that completely took it over.

Emerald green arborvitae in the snow... about 4 years old
Just for fun, here’s a photo of my emerald green arborvitae trees after a snowfall here in Northeast PA. This is about 4 years after planting and they’ve grown about 2 feet. I love how they catch the snow on their branches!

Preparation to plant privacy trees

plant privacy trees
Line up the privacy trees where you want to plant them

Decide on the type of privacy tree

If you are planning to plant privacy trees, the first step is to decide what type of tree or hedge you would like to plant. There are many different options to choose from. If you are unsure, I would recommend going to a local nursery and having someone help you.

Here are some of my favorite narrow evergreen trees for small yards if you don’t think ‘Emerald Green’ is the right choice for you.

What Blooms with What?

Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

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Quick Tip: You’ll love this post you’re looking for more narrow evergreen privacy tree options.

Determine how many trees you’ll need

The next step to plant privacy trees is to determine how many of your chosen tree you will need. This is how I determined it:

  1. First, measure the area that you need to cover.
    This is pretty self explanatory.
  2. Then, decide how far apart you will space them from trunk to trunk.
    I chose Emerald Green arborvitaes for my privacy tree. It’s recommended to plant them 3′-4′ apart to form a privacy hedge when full grown. I chose to plant them 3′ apart from trunk to trunk. You can also ask the nursery how far apart to plant your new trees. 
  3. Determine how far you’ll space them from your fence or property line.
    Since I was planting these along a chainlink fence, I determined that the first tree would be 2′ from the fence line. I could have planted them 1.5′ from the fence but I wanted to give them a little extra room so they didn’t get tangled into the fence.
  4. Map out your planting plan (see below for details).
    With the distance I had to cover, after planting the trees 3′ apart I determined I’d need a 2′ gap at the beginning and end of the row to cover the entire space.

Map out your planting plan

The third step is to draw a little map of your yard. According to your spacing and the placement of the first and last tree, you’ll be able to determine how many you will actually need.

This is an important step when you plant privacy trees. Simply dividing the distance by the amount of trees could give you a fractioned number. If that’s the case, you may need to remove 1 tree from your count and space the first and last trees a little differently. Or, you may need to slightly adjust your spacing to get a divisible number.

Here’s the formula:

Distance to cover ÷ Spacing from Trunk to Trunk = Total # of Trees Needed

plant privacy trees map

You can see on my drawing that one side of my yard is 50′ and the other side (due to my shed) is 40′. Based on the map and placing the first tree 2′ from the fence instead of 3, I determined that I’ll need 13 trees on the 40′ side, and 16-17 trees on the 50′ side. That’s how I got to my total number of 30 trees.

‘Emerald Green’ Arborvitae Spacing

I would recommend spacing Emerald Greens between 36″ and 48″ from trunk to trunk. Spacing any closer than 36″ may be harmful to the health of the trees.

My arborvitae are spaced at 36″ apart. I’ve included some photo examples so you can see the difference in spacing as the hedge grows. These are rows of Emerald Greens from all over my neighborhood.

Emerald Green Arborvitae Spacing Examples
Emerald Green Arborvitae Spacing Examples

‘Emerald Green’ Arborvitae Growth Rate

‘Emerald Green’ Arborvitae have a slow to moderate growth rate (about 6-12″/year). In the first few years after planting, my trees grew at 6″ per year. Once they got established (about 3-4 years after planting), they began growing at a faster rate (about 12″). This is from my personal experience rather than a textbook, though.

These aren’t the fastest growing privacy trees on the market. I do have some other privacy tree recommendations here if you’re looking for other options with faster growth rates. But, just note that fast growing trees aren’t always the best option. They are typically weaker and more prone to disease than trees that grow slowly. Pretty much always, a fast growing tree will have a shorter lifespan than one that grows slowly or at a moderate rate.

Here is a chart with the growth of my Emerald Green Arborvitae Trees

DateApprox HeightApprox Growth (inches)
09-2014≈ 44- 48″
11-2015≈ 50- 54″≈ 6″
04-2016≈ 54- 60″≈ 4- 6″
07-2017≈ 62- 70″≈ 6- 10″
08-2018≈ 74- 82″≈ 12″
10-2019≈ 84- 94″≈ 12″
09-2020≈ 96-108″≈ 12-14″
11-2021 ≈ 106-130″ ≈ 10-22″
Emerald Green Arborvitae Growth Rate in my Yard (Pennsylvania, Zone 6B)

Planting your Emerald Green privacy trees

Stake out the distance

After you get your trees, you’ll have to actually do the work to plant them. The easiest way to do this is to stake out the distance marking where the center of each tree will go. This will keep you on track so that your trees are in a nice straight line (if you want them to be in a straight line, of course).

Measure your root ball

After staking them out, you’ll need to measure how deep the root ball of your tree is. Even if you got trees of the same height, it’s possible to have variance in how big their root balls are.

plant privacy trees

Plant your arborvitae privacy trees so that the root ball is level with the ground surface; maybe a tiny bit above, but never below. By measuring the height of the root ball you know how deep to dig your hole.

Most of my 4′ ‘Emerald Green’ Arborvitae had root balls that were between 11″ and 13″ deep.

Next, measure the width of your root ball. You’ll want to dig your holes the same depth as the height of the root ball and 2x the width of your root ball.

So if your root ball is 1′ wide and 1′ tall, you will want to dig your hole to be 2′ wide in all directions, and 1′ deep (height of the root ball).

Dig the hole

When you plant privacy trees, use a pick or sharp shovel to dig up the soil, and a tape measure to make sure I was getting to the right width and depth. Once the hole was the right size, I put some water into the hole mixed with some miracle grow, and moved my tree (burlap and all) into the hole.  

My thoughts on burlap…

Now, there is a little controversy surrounding whether you should remove the burlap or not. I decided to leave it on. But I did cut all of the twine and remove that once the tree was positioned. After the twine was removed I loosened the knot at the top of the burlap and pulled it down from the tree about 1/3 of the way. That way, the top of the root ball is exposed from above and the tree can receive water more easily.

plant privacy tree

Pull the burlap off the root a bit once your tree is positioned in the hole. That way, your tree can receive water from above.

You can also completely remove the burlap from the tree. But, loosing but leaving the burlap in-tact was the advice of both the nursery staff and my arborist friend. 🙂

Update: It’s been about 6 years since I planted my trees and leaving the burlap on has not been an issue at all in the growth of my arborvitae.

Put your tree in the hole

Yay! Time to plant your tree. Drop your tree into the hole… you may have to rock it back and forth to get it iinto a good position. Stand back and make sure you like the way it looks because after this point you really can’t change it!

Push the burlap down a bit so that the tree can receive water from above. Or, remove the burlap before you put it in the ground (depending on how you feel about leaving the burlap on).

Then, backfill the hole with your dirt. You can also mix in some nutrient-rich compost with your soil if it’s not the best quality. This will help to feed your trees while still letting them get established in their new soil.

Water the tree thoroughly and move on to the next! Before you know it you will be done! Using this technique I was able to plant about three privacy trees per hour. It took a long time but it was well worth the result.

Watering your newly-planted privacy trees

plant privacy trees

Here’s one of my newly planted ‘Emerald Green’ Arborvitae with equipped with a Treegator Junior tree watering bag (Amazon link to purchase).

These bags are magical little donuts of wonder and take all of the guesswork out of watering!

One of the toughest things to find is an actual clear cut amount to water these buggers. I searched high and low, and even consulted with an arborist friend I have. Newly planted trees need a lot of water at first, but with that you run the risk of overwatering which will get the roots soggy and cause the tree to die.

My arborist friend suggested that I water a lot the first few days and to make sure that the soil all the way down to the bottom of the root ball is moist (but not soggy). This is 12″ down for most of my trees — that’s a lot of water!  

I watered thoroughly for several days using a hose and also rotating around 2 Treegator Junior bags. These bags will slow release up to 15 gallons of water per tree. Slow watering is the best way to get the soil moist without shocking the tree.

Between my hose and Treegator Jr. watering duo, I able to confirm that the soil was moist about a foot down. To do this yourself, just dig a small hole next to the root ball and check for moisture.

To maintain the tree watering regiment, I purchased soaker hoses (buy on Amazon) and weaved them in and out of my trees. The soaker hose will slow water the trees as well, and it really helps when you’re planting a lot of new trees at once.

water and plant privacy trees

Weave the soaker hose in and out of the trees to evenly distribute the water. The hose can go above or below your mulch.

On the packaging the soaker hose says that 50 minutes of watering a 50′ line will get the water into the soil to a 1/2″ depth. Based on that calculation, I watered the trees for about an hour every other day. One day I do the right side, and the next day I do the left.

It makes sense to set up your own irrigation system rather than stand outside all day and night keeping them watered. I just set my timer on my phone, went about my business and turned off the hose when the timer beeped. It couldn’t be easier.

What Blooms with What?

Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

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After your trees are established you don’t have to be as strict with your watering regiment. I stopped soaker and tree-gator watering my Emerald Greens after two summers. Now, I only water them when it’s very dry and they look thirsty (not very often).

Privacy tree care and maintenance

plant privacy trees - emerald green arborvitae

Using Mulch

Mulching is one of the best things you can do when you plant privacy trees. This really helps your trees retain the water your give them – so they don’t dry out. Use about a 3″ layer of mulch around your arborvitae.

Just make sure you don’t mulch all the way up to the trunk of the tree. Leave at least a 6″ ring around the trunk with no mulch so it doesn’t cause rot or disease.

Fertilizing your Arborvitae trees

You can also fertilize your Emerald Green arborvitae. I am a big fan of Espoma products so I’ve always used Plant Tone (buy on Amazon) to fertilize my arborvitae. This is a 5-3-3 fertilizer, which is 5 parts nitrogen, 3 parts phosphorus and 3 parts potassium. Just follow the instructions on the back of the bag to use it. I fertilize my arborvitae in the spring and sometimes in the fall.

Here is an article with more helpful maintenance tips, including pruning and winter care, so your privacy trees will thrive for years to come!

Annual spring care for Arborvitae

If you chose an arborvitae for your privacy hedge, like me, it’s easy-peasy from year to year. Arborvitae are conifer trees and seasonal needle drop is a normal, healthy thing that will happen to your trees.

In the fall, arborvitae and other conifers shed their oldest (innermost) needles. These needles turn yellow or brown and drop to the ground in late fall – winter. So, each spring I shake out my trees and get all of the dead needles out of the branches (sometimes they get stuck). It takes me about an hour each spring.

Here’s an incredibly short video I made about the annual “maintenance” I perform on these trees.

‘Emerald Green’ Arborvitae Photo Gallery

I get many questions about what my trees look like now, so if you’d like to see them, check out this photo album of my trees over the years. The album is ordered by date from newest photos to the oldest so you can see the progression/growth of the trees. Each photo will have a date (click on the little “i” with the circle around it).

For reference, I planted these trees in September, 2014.

If you’re not quite sold on Emerald Greens or privacy trees, in general, check out this post for more privacy solutions to try.

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