Arborvitae growth rate?

Lilyfinch z7 mid tnAugust 12, 2009

I need a little reassurance here, i bought 8 arborvitaes in little pots, they are about 1.5 ft high . I was told they grow fast, so im just wondering how fast they grow for you? I know they need the first year to establish their roots, so next year can i expect a couple feet of growth? Thanks!

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Growth rates among arborvitaes vary across the spectrum from extremely slow (miniature and dwarf varities) to quite rapid (Green Giants, for instance). What type (species, cultivar, etc) did you buy?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 10:40AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

first/.. they are conifers .... not shrubs.. those words will matter in the future.. especially in regard to pruning ...

second.. as noted.. arb really means little ... we need to know the second latin name.. as well as a cultivar name.. to be able to research the annual growth rate.. after establishment ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 12:06PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

All arborvitae are conifers.
Some arborvitae are shrubs.
All arborvitae that are shrubs are also conifers.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 4:12PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

P.S.
If you know the cultivar name (example: 'Hetz Midget'), you really don't have to know the species name (the second latin name). Except in rare cases, a cultivar name should only be found once within a genus.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 4:55PM
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october17(5chgo)

True for the dwarfs growing slow - I have one that's got to be close to 20 years old and is just now about 6'.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 5:32PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Thanks for the responses! I have emerald green arborvitae. I forgot there are so many different kinds! So let me know! Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 2:31PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Normal growth rates for Emerald Green (Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd') are between 6" to 12" per year once established and tapering off as they reach about 12' to 15'. I'd be suprised to see more than about 18" per year even in ideal conditions.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 3:53PM
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duluthinbloomz4

From Googling for information on Emerald Green - which is very easy to do...

Mature Height: 10-15 ft.
Mature Width: 3-4 ft.
Growth rate: Moderate (6"-12" avg. per yr.)

Another site confirms moderate growth rate; up to a foot a year once established. Grows faster in full sun.

When it comes to living things, there are no absolutes - only guide lines arrived at by study and observation.

Protect them (especially over the winter) to avoid severe damage if you're in deer country.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 3:54PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I think there is a little bit of an art to googling when it comes to getting information about plants. There are lots of sites with incorrect or misleading information. I find completely incorrect information quite often on sites like Dave's Garden and many nursery websites. Some types of sites are more reliable than others. Most of the time, I've found ag extension sites to be reasonably reliable. Anyone without quite a bit of experience should at least look at a number of sites and get an average of many opinions before accepting the data from a google search.

Oh, and the other part to the art of googling is knowing what terms to use. Sometimes five minutes of thought before googling can save you thirty minutes or more of reading and searching.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 4:38PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

This cultivar is rather slow growing in my area (zone 5 Milwaukee).

Typically takes a 3ft'er 10 years before it hits 10ft.

They seem to do best in well drained, consistently moist soils.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 5:46PM
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david22866

I planted some Emerald Green Arborvitae a couple of years ago. I live in upstate NY and my area has a lot of clay in the soil. When I planted the trees, I purchased a few loads of good topsoil, tilled and amended the soil and then placed the trees in a raised burm(term?). They seem very happy there. They are thriving and grow at around 1ft. per year. They get a fair amount of sunlight in their location.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:54PM
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butterfly4u

Lillyfinch,
Look at the plant places (HD, Lowes) in the end of September, buy yourself a good 6-7 footer for about 30.00 and mulch and water real well.
They aren't expensive to get a decent size tree or shrub.
i love Emerald green, I have one I bought last fall, it is small, but I knew they grew slow.
You can't beat the gorgeous green color, go buy bigger ones.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:04AM
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