arborvitae screen
In the Garden

Classic Privacy Screening with Arborvitae

Spring is on the way! You might say we never even had a winter this year and that is fine by me. Warm winters are great for doing things outside! But you will need to keep an eye out for increased insect and disease pressures, especially if we are treated to a wet spring.

We will get into all of that later, but let’s talk about privacy. Lots of construction, new homes, new neighbors, noise happening around here these days! You get it. Now maybe you need to screen some of that off. We’ll be spending more time outside as we get more sunshine, and do you really want to see and hear your neighbors every time you are enjoying a warm day? A fence is a fix, but even they can always benefit from some ‘softening,’ if you will.

There are options for screening plants. What you choose usually depends on cost and how long you plan to live. I would like to talk to you about one of my favorites that is relatively cheap and fast-growing, my friend arborvitae. Ugh, you say? Maybe ugly? This is not always the case. Arborvitae is any of the genus Thuga, which means “tree of life.” Remember Leyland Cypress? “The God of all privacy screening.” How’d that work out? Yeah, they grow SO fast! But years later, the ones that haven’t blown over are dying out. Fun. In contrast, your grandfather’s and father’s Dark American arborvitae is still going strong. Perhaps it’s not as sexy as the Leyland but this tough native is here to stay. It’s always been here so…

Emerald Green Arborvitae

Check out some of the varieties of arborvitae as there are many:
Emerald Green is wonderful for small narrow spaces. It can grow to 15’ tall in a very thin pyramidal shape. It can also be planted in large containers for a movable privacy screen.
Green Giant is fast growing (really fast, about 3 feet per year!) and has a conical form with dense foliage that darkens in winter.
The old-fashioned Dark American arborvitae is that dependable, chubby old friend who won’t let you down. The cone-shaped tree can reach 25 feet tall and has flattened sprays of evergreen needles.
There are tons of new cultivars being developed. Personally I’m a little wary of anything that hasn’t been around as long as me, but I do have some issues!

We have a few varieties of arborvitae available. More plants are always on the way. We are opening April 1st, but if you’re interested in arborvitae, call us to set up an appointment to come out and see them. Otherwise we’ll see you this spring!

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