Arbor Vitae Trees: An Overview

A Good Wind Block

Arbor vitae trees are found primarily in the northeastern U.S. Unlike some evergreens, their leaves are soft rather than brambly or thorny. For this reason, many animals savor the leaves, especially deer, in the wild. In addition, the leaves of the arbor vitae form a protective canopy for animals in forests throughout the year. Not only that, the trees can block the wind and shield plants that may otherwise be destroyed in such conditions.

Landscaping with Arbor Vitaes

Before you buy arborvitae trees, it’s important that you determine where they will be planted and the kind you will select. As arbor vitae trees come in numerous forms, you will want to think about which particular trees can best be incorporated in your yard.

Arbor Vitaes as Shrubs

For example, some arborvitae’s, such as the American arborvitae, are cone-shaped and broad while others, such as the globe arbor vitae, are round and considered shrubs. In fact the globe arbor vitae grows only to a height of about 3 ½ feet. This particular arborvitae shrub needs little care once it is planted and, generally, is pretty impervious to drought-like conditions. Pruning is recommended in the early part of the year before new growth appears.

Arbor Vitaes Grow well in Alkaline Soils

If you choose arborvitae trees for sale then that are actually more like shrubs, you can shape them into hedges, making them useful as screens for blocking the wind or for privacy. Most arbor vitae trees adapt the best in alkaline soils that are fairly moist. However, as stated, the plant also holds up to periods of drought. Therefore, they can even grow in soils that tend to be dry or rocky as well, and are best suited to locations receiving partial to full sunlight.

Avoid Overwatering

Arbor vitaes grow the best in zones three to seven, and do not do well in southern areas of the U.S. If you buy arborvitae trees and live in a northern zone with summers that tend to be warmer, then it’s recommended that you plant the trees in areas that are shaded. Also, keep in mind that the trees are low-maintenance, so avoid overwatering them. Therefore, giving the trees water once a week in soil that is well-drained should suffice. Include a little aluminum sulfate in the soil to ensure alkalinity.


Pruning the arbor vitae is also an essential part of caring for the plant. Remove any overhanging or protruding branches. Prune the plant in such a way that the branches on the lower tiers of the plant are obtaining a sufficient amount of sun.

Reasons for Transplanting the Trees

At some point in your care and maintenance of arbor vitaes, you may find it necessary to transplant the plant. For example, if you don’t think the plant is getting enough sunlight or it’s located in an area where drainage is poor, you may have to move the evergreen to a better location. Or, you may want to relocate the plant to an area that needs more privacy or a windscreen.

Transplant Arbor Vitaes in the Fall

If you do decide to transplant your arbor vitae, move the plant in the fall. Make sure, when digging, that you take care not to injure any of the roots. Follow up by shaking away the soil from the roots before placing the plant in its new location. Also, make certain that the depression in the new area provides enough room for the roots. Plant the tree, adding soil and compressing it, so the plant is firmly supported. After you are finished adding dirt, the spot where the roots meet should be about an inch and a half under the soil – just enough space so the roots can receive the oxygen they need in order to thrive.

Look Online for Arbor Vitaes

If you want to buy arbor vitae trees, you will find a large selection of arborvitae trees for sale online. Whether you choose the evergreen as a privacy hedge or use it to block a chill breeze, you will find that the low-maintenance plant can be nicely integrated into the landscape.

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