Arborvitae, standing water, and raised bed

jjtbay(5)June 21, 2007

I'm considering planting Arborvitae in an area that has a drainage problem. It seems to only be a problem in the late fall and winter. There will be about 1-2" of standing water for a day or two. This happened about three times last year. Im trying to determine if I build a raised bed in this area and put the arbs on top of it will they be safe from the water. If this idea can work then how high high does the bed need to be, or to put it a more precise way, how much above the potential water line does the bottom of the root ball need to be ?

Thank you


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

a day or two of standing water... with soil that otherwise drains... should not be a problem ....

in northern MI [UP) arbs are everywhere ... staining the rivers deep brown .... tanins ... they should be very tolerant to a point ....

but ... always a but... you dont really ID which arb you are referring too ... and that might make a big difference ...

there is a conifer forum.. and arbs are such ... so if the conifer nuts dont see this.. you might try over there.. but i think most venture over here once in a while..

good luck


    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 8:04AM
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I have often found in areas where standing water occurs in the more rainy seasons, that even when water can not be seen standing there, the soil stays overly moist for longer periods of time. Then even in the drier parts of the year, the water table beneath the surface of the virgin soil is also very high.

If you check and find these conditions to also exist in the area where you desire to plant the Arborvitae then raising the bed for them is needed.

To prevent root rot arborvitae, they should do fine if planted in at least 2 feet of well drained soil which can also remain just moist enough for the shrub's needs.

I have a friend who's lot has been grade in such a way for runoff water to flow away from her house and collect in a lower spot in the north side, behind her back yard fence. We created a 3 foot high raised bed with sloping sides there and planted an Oak tree. that bed almost looked like an island in the very wettest times of the year. Last year we planted some 3 gallon pot sized 'Little Giant' arborvitae around the oak, but first we had to raise the sloping edge of the bed around that young oak tree to about 2 feet high. The shrubs have done vary well planted on that raised bed. Today they have grown to be double in size, and for the entire time they have maintained a healthy appearance.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 11:49AM
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evonline(Zone 4b Missoula, Montana)

Most arborvitae sold at nurseries are the ones with the scientific name Thuja occidentalis. In nature it typically grows in wet areas in Zone 5. Usually plant tags at the nursery will state the scientific name somewhere. I bet you have chosen the perfect plant for your wet spot.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 1:09AM
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They like to be well watered, but also need well draining soil. If not, at least while they are young, they struggle from the lack of air in their water logged soil.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 8:56AM
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