How to Plant American Dark Green Arborvitae

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American dark green arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis Nigra), a variant of white cedar (Thuja occidentalis), produces dark green foliage that maintains its color into the winter months. The shrub's flattened scale-like foliage is dark green on the top and a lighter green on the underside. It grows in an upright pyramid shape to a height of approximately 20 feet, according to Ohio State University Horticulture & Crop Science. The website of Missouri Botanical Garden states that the shrub can spread up to 10 feet. The shrub makes a good screen, specimen planting or windbreak for the landscape.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost or aged manure
  • Mulch (bark chips, peat moss, leaf mulch or recycled plastic)
  • Plant the American dark green arborvitae in full sunlight in an area with well-draining, fertile soil. If the region suffers from excessively hot summertime heat, plant the shrub where it will receive afternoon shade, Missouri Botanical Garden advises.

  • Space the plantings 8 to 10 feet apart to allow ample room for the shrubs to grow. Dig a hole twice as wide as the shrub's root system. Mix compost or aged manure into the soil until the soil feels crumbly to the touch.

  • Place the shrub into the planting hole at the same depth that it was planted in its nursery container. Push soil around the tree's root system and tamp the soil down to firm it and remove air pockets.

  • Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the shrub's base to help reduce weed growth and keep the shrub moist.

  • Water the shrub after planting. Keep the soil moist until the shrub has become established.

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