In landscape design, a hedge is an important architectural element. For its construction, many different shrubs are used. One of the most decorative and unpretentious care - a fence made of thuja. This shrub is not only decorative, but also the ability to form a dense wall, it will protect the site from prying eyes, wind and noise. The unpretentious thuja, the hedge of which grows over several years, does not require much attention. And her ability to secrete volatile production will also beneficially affect the health of the owners of such a green building.
Thuja varieties are huge, but some of them are especially popular precisely as shrubs for creating live fences. Thuja varieties for hedges - which are better to choose? The most popular arborvitae for creating a green wall are Smaragd and Brabant.
This plant from the Cypress family has a pyramidal shape and a dense coniferous coating. Unlike some other species, it does not change the color of the needles in the winter and always remains green. The life expectancy of this species is on average 100-130 years and during this time the shrub is able to reach sizes up to 6 m in height and up to 2 m in width.
This species has gained popularity due to its unpretentiousness and frost resistance. Thuja Smaragd tolerates even severe winter frosts, while maintaining the green color of the needles. Even the poorest soils and polluted city air are not afraid of her. This type of shade is hardy, unlike others, but does not tolerate increased soil moisture and requires good drainage. The pluses include the fact that this shrub tolerates a haircut, the constant formation of the thuja Smaragd allows you to use it as an interesting decorative element in landscape design.
For your information! There are many types of thuja Smaragd. The most popular of them are Korean, Western, Folded and Western Golden. Golden look is especially interesting, its needles have a golden hue. This provides additional opportunities for the implementation of original design ideas in the design of the site. The hedge of mixed plantings of thuja with green and golden needles looks especially impressive.
In the first spring months, the flowering period of the shrub falls, small cones of brown color appear. It is at this time that the plant releases phytoncides, which helps to purify the air in the area and saturate it with useful substances.
The only minus of the thuja Smaragd in its slow growth. In the year she adds only 15-20 cm in height and 5 cm in width. This fact makes it possible to cut the shrub less often, but it will take quite a while to wait until the hedge from it turns into a dense wall.
This type of thuja compares favorably with others in its rapid growth: for a year, the increase in growth is up to 40 cm up and up to 15 cm in breadth. True, this fact affects the frequency of cutting, it must be done at least twice a year. The life span of the bush is about 150 years, during which time it is able to reach heights of up to 15 m.
Brabant is quite unpretentious in soil quality and tolerates short-term waterlogging and drought. Additional soil drainage during planting is not required. Also, this species feels good in the sun, but in the spring it is better to shade plants due to the high probability of sunburn. It is frost-resistant, but it does not tolerate severe frosts, unlike the same smaragd.
Important! In winter, the needles do not change color and remain green all year round.
Brabant has a conical crown shape, needles of a light green hue. During flowering, it is covered with brown cones, which gives the bush a special decorative effect at this time.
Easy to cut, and thanks to the rapid growth, the shape of the shrub can be periodically modified. For those who want to quickly enjoy the dense green fence, the Thuja Brabant is an excellent option.
Green wall care
Despite the fact that the thuja is quite unpretentious, it still requires care. Particular attention should be paid to young plants, there are some nuances.
After planting, young seedlings require watering at least once a week, and in extreme heat twice. One shrub requires about 10 liters of water, during a period of drought, the watering rate should be doubled. After watering, loosening is mandatory, but not deep. The root system of the thuja is very superficial, and there is a great danger of damaging fragile roots. The soil must be treated to a depth of not more than 10 cm.
Note! It will not be superfluous to mulch young landings. This will retain moisture in the soil and prevent the formation of crusts and cracks. Peat or wood chips are perfect as mulch.
Young thuja seedlings are not as frost-resistant as older plants. During the first two years of growth, seedlings should be protected from winter frost and the bright spring sun. To do this, you can use white non-woven material, kraft paper or spruce branches.
It is better to apply fertilizer to the soil before planting, in which case the seedlings will not need additional fertilizing during the first year. In addition, thuja does not tolerate excess mineral fertilizers. Only from the second year should you resort to mineral or organic top dressing.
How to make a fence from thuja
The realization of the dream of a green fence from thuja begins with the acquisition of seedlings. In this matter, it is better to give preference to special nurseries or garden centers. In this case, the risk of acquiring a diseased plant or making a mistake with the appearance will be minimal. It is better to choose seedlings in containers that are no more than four years old, they take root better, and the root system will be protected during transportation. In addition, young plants will be cheaper than larger copies.
Young seedlings in pots
Planting plants for the formation of the future green hedges is better in a trench way. This process can be divided into several stages:
- Digging trenches. The moat for planting seedlings should have a depth of about 50 cm. The width should be such that the root system is located in it freely.
- Preparation of drainage and fertilizers. If the selected variety requires drainage, a drainage layer is poured onto the bottom of the pit. The next layer should consist of compost. Instead, you can add peat, sand or mineral fertilizers. First of all, in this matter, the features of the soil on the site should be taken into account.
- Placing plants. The distance between plants in the trench depends on the type of thuja chosen and its growth rate. When planting the Brabant species, the gap between the seedlings should be at least a meter, for smaragd it will be quite enough 70 cm. If the task is to create a dense green fence from two rows of shrubs, the plants are placed in a checkerboard pattern.
- Filling the trench with soil. First, the soil to fill the moat should be cleaned of roots, weeds and stones. If there is a chance of drought, it is better to add a hydrogel to the soil, it will help retain moisture longer. The trench should be filled so that the root neck of the seedlings is not deepened and remains at the same level with the soil.
- Abundant watering. Young plants need a lot of moisture, especially at the beginning of growth. After planting, at least 10 l of water is required for each seedling.
- Mulching. To preserve moisture, which is so necessary for young seedlings at first, plantings should be mulched. For this purpose, you can use peat, wood chips, sawdust or even just mowed grass.
Note! Both spring and autumn are suitable for planting, but autumn is preferable. In the spring, the main task is to maintain moisture in the soil, and in the fall, the choice of such a period to avoid frost in the first month after planting.
As an alternative to the trench method of planting, you can plant the plants in separate pits. Landing technology and its stages are the same as with the trench method.
How to feed thuja for growth
Thuja is a very unpretentious plant, but still needs to be fed. The amount of nutrients that the seedling received during planting should be enough for the first year of growth. From the second or third year should begin to make fertilizers or organic fertilizing.
Mineral fertilizers are best chosen in a specialized store, there are many options for thuja. Usually they are applied superficially by sprinkling. The composition of such a fertilizer must necessarily include potassium phosphorus and iron.
Thuja is also very responsive to organic dressing. Most often, compost or specialized manure is used for this purpose.
It is worth paying attention to the timing of fertilizer application. The first dose of fertilizer should be applied in the spring, half the annual norm. The second top dressing is carried out in June.
Important! In no case can you feed the thuja at other times of the year, for example, in the fall. This can lead to undesirable shoot growth and root growth, which will simply die in winter. Instead, the plant will be harmed.
The annual fertilizer rate per 10 m² is 1 kg. Top dressing should be moderate; thuja reacts negatively to excess mineral fertilizers in the soil.
With proper care, an evergreen fence made of arborvitae will turn out that will delight its owners for many years.
How and when to trim the thuja
To give the thuja crown the desired shape and maintain the health of the shrub, pruning is necessary regularly. How to cut thawed and not harm the plant?
This procedure is carried out not only for aesthetic, but also for medicinal purposes. It can be divided into two types:
- Sanitary pruning. It is carried out in spring and autumn. The purpose of this procedure is to remove damaged branches and thin out the crown for better breathability. It is also worth removing the branches affected by diseases or parasites.
- Formative pruning. It is carried out in the period from late spring to early fall, the best time is considered to be mid-summer. The result of such pruning should be a correctly formed crown of the bush, which will meet the aesthetic requirements of its owner.
How to cut thuja depends on the growth rate of the plant, its aesthetic function and the state of plant health. For example, trimming thuja Smaragd can include only a sanitary function due to the naturally successful shape of the crown.
For your information! Sanitary pruning, as a rule, is carried out twice a year, in spring and autumn, and forming as needed.
When carrying out this procedure, there is a risk of making some mistakes that can subsequently harm the plant.
- pruning in early spring. It is during this period that the time of intensive vegetation falls, and damage to the plant in this phase can stop this process;
- too much cropping. It should be cut no more than 30% of the vegetative mass, otherwise the plant may not recover after such manipulations;
- slices located close to the kidney. When trimming thuja, there are strict rules that you should adhere to. Branches growing upwards are cut off above the outer bud, and directed downwards - above the inner one;
- bare branches. This should also be avoided. Branches that are too bare as a result of pruning will then dry out.
For pruning, it is better to choose a cloudy day. After the procedure, the plant should be abundantly watered, and fertilizing with mineral or organic fertilizers will not hurt.
Note! Any manipulations with the thuja should be done with gloves, since its branches are covered with juice and resin. Washing hands later is very problematic.
For a plant such as thuja, pruning and shaping are integral parts of care. You should carefully consider when to trim arborvitae and how to do it correctly.
How to cut thuja: tools
It is not enough to know how to trim arborvitae, it is also worth paying attention to choosing the right tool.
The tool for pruning should be selected depending on the thickness of the branches of the plant. It can be a pruner, garden shears or a brush cutter. Pruning shears and clippers are usually enough to cut the thaw.
The main point when preparing a tool for cutting is its sharpening. It must be sharp to avoid creases on the branches. It is also recommended that during the cutting process, wipe the tool blade with resin and cut branches to remove dirt from it.
How to trim a spherical thuja
In landscape design, thuja is used not only for the erection of green walls, it also performs many different decorative functions. Particularly spectacular in single landings look spherical thuja.
They fit perfectly into the landscape of the alpine hills and the landscape of flower gardens made in the English style. No less interesting is the combination of such a thuja with other ornamental shrubs, for example, with a vesicle.
This type of thuja has a spherical shape of a bush by nature, therefore it requires minimal trimming. Like other types of thuja, it requires sanitary and shaping pruning. Sanitary is carried out in the same way as for the rest of the species. Forming pruning for spherical arborvitae is more gentle, it is only necessary to remove branches that extrude beyond the limits of a rounded shape.
A live fence from a thuja is within the power of everyone to grow, it is only worth making a little effort. You need to have patience and the right information. First of all, it is worth learning how to plant, how to fertilize shrubs, and how to trim thaw. A little effort, and the dream of a green wall will come true.