Emerald Green Arborvitae Spacing: How to Plant and How Far Apart

From their beautiful pyramid shape that can create a breathtaking look to being versatile, Emerald green arborvitae plants are loved by many. They are used for different purposes, i.e., as decorations, living fences, and windbreakers.

How you plant the Arborvitae depends on how you are planning to use them. You need to ensure you plant it correctly according to the plant’s intended purpose to serve you right. Also, ensure you have the proper spacing.

In this article, you’ll learn the best way to plant the emerald green Arborvitae to get the best results.

The Right Spacing for Emerald Green Arborvitae

The right spacing of the Emerald green is 36′ and 48′ from one tree to another. Spacing less than 36′ will affect the trees’ growth and condition because they will have to struggle for soil nutrients. When the branches grow, they may end up squishing each other, thus affecting their shape.

Determining the Number of Trees You Need

After knowing the distance, you need to plant each tree apart, coming up with the number of trees you need for a particular area is the next step.

Start by measuring the area you plan to cover with the trees. From the required distance given above, decide how further apart you prefer your Arborvitae to be. You can even check with the nursery where you bought the trees to ensure you have the right distance depending on your purpose.

Use the distance of the area you plan to cover. Divide by the estimated distance apart to get the number of trees you need for the whole area.

How Far Should The Emerald Green Arborvitae be From The Fence?

It is essential to leave enough space from the fence to the place you plant the trees to prevent getting them tangled with the fence. 2feets from the fence will work, but anything below 1.5 feet will cause the Arborvitae to tangle with the fence.

Mapping The Planting Plan

Draw a map of the yard you want to plant. Place the first tree and the last tree according to your spacing. Use the estimated number of trees from the calculation above and place them on the map. You can use a star to represent the trees.

Adjust the trees to fit your liking by deciding whether you’ll reduce or increase the overall number. According to your spacing and the placement of the first and last tree, you’ll be able to determine how many you will need.

The Growth rate of the Emerald Green Arborvitae

The Emerald Green arborvitae has a moderate, slow growth rate of about 1feet in a year. After planting, they take around 3 to 4 years to establish, and then they begin to grow at a fast rate. The upside of slow growth rate is they tend to have a longer lifespan than those with a rapid growth rate. Fast-growing trees are prone to diseases.

How to Plant Arborvitae

How you plant your Arborvitae determines its growth and general health. When buying the plant, it will be in a plastic pot or a burlap sack. Before planting, ensure you remove the plastic bag or burlap sack.

Removing these wrappers gives the roots easy access to nutrients in the soil. However, you must ensure that you don’t remove the bag when you are not ready to plant the tree.

If the trees you buy are in a pot, you need to remove them without destroying the soil structure around its roots. Pulling it off the pot, will risk removing the tree without much soil around its root.

Effective removal of the plant from the pot demands that you turn your Arborvitae onto its side. Now gently remove it by twisting the plant from one side to the other. If it doesn’t come off easily, make a small cutting from the pot’s top.

Removing the plant from a plastic bag requires you first to place the plant on the ground. Next, cut the plastic bag from top to bottom and remove the tree with the planting soil structure still intact.

Your next step in the planting process is picking an appropriate location for planting. Consider a site that gives you the best view of the plants from any spot in your house or backyard.

Now measure your trees’ root balls. Do not assume that since the trees are of equal heights, they will have the same root ball sizes. Some have bigger root balls, while others only occupy a small space.

Ensure that the root ball will be on the same level as the ground surface once you plant the tree. Taking measurement enables you to dig a hole that is not too deep or too shallow.

The top layer of any soil is more fertile. As plant leaves and other organic materials fall on the ground, they will decompose on the soil top layer. For this reason, it is essential to separate the topsoil layer from the other layers.

Towards the end of digging, flatten the hole’s bottom as much as you can. Having an uneven base creates jagged spots that contain air pockets. If you cannot flatten the hole’s bottom by digging, ensure your hole is a bit deeper than needed.

Add a layer of the fertile soil you had put separately. Use a shovel to spread it in the hole as you flatten it. It is best if you make the hole’s width double the width of the pot you had bought your Arborvitae in. Doing so gives the tree more room for growth. The roots also get softer soil to draw nutrients from before they are mature enough to penetrate through the harder soil layers.

Now that you have the hole ready, it’s time to transplant your Arborvitae. Add the separated fertile soil to the hole filling it halfway. At this stage, add water into the hole before covering it with more soil. Once you have entirely covered the hole, add more water to ensure the soil particles adhere to each other.

Finally, provide anchor stakes to support the tree before it is strong enough to stand firm even when exposed to strong winds.

When to Plant Arborvitae

Winter is a challenging time for most newly planted trees. For this reason, it will help if you plant your Arborvitae at the beginning of spring. The tree will have enough time to get used to the new environment you plant them in. It will grow stronger and get ready to face the extreme winter weather conditions as it establishes itself.

Another advantage of plating during spring is favorable soil conditions. The ground is not yet too cold to dig with hand tools such as shovels. If you wait till winter, the soil will not be warm enough or thawed to facilitate easy digging.

The fall is another appropriate season to plant your Arborvitae. It is not the best period since your plants will not be fully established. The coming winter weather may harm unstable shed trees. However, fall is appropriate because it does not expose your tree’s roots to harsh summer weather conditions.

How to Care For Emerald Green Arborvitae

For your Arborvitae to thrive, you need to meet a few of the essential requirements. Below are the necessary conditions you need to meet.

Arborvitae needs sufficient moisture content in their soil. To fully utilize the water you add around the tree’s roots, cover the soil with mulch. Mulching will serve two essential purposes; it helps maintain your soil moist and add nutrients to the soil once it begins to decay.

As you arrange mulch material around the tree, leave a six-inch allowance. This allowance is useful in preventing tree rot or attack by uncalled for diseases.

The best environment to have your tree in is one that partially has a shade or is fully exposed to the sun. If the planting spot has a partial shade, make sure that your plant at least gets six hours of sunlight every day. The downside of planting the tree in a location that directly exposes it to the sun stresses the plant. Direct sunlight may also burn the foliage.

The soil you plant your Arborvitae in needs to be moist. It should also be well-drained to avoid water stagnation around the roots. Apart from that, if you can water your trees at least two times a week, you will facilitate their fast growth.

Improving air circulation in the plants demands three to four feet distance between each tree. When they are this apart, there is no need to regularly add fertilizer since there is little competition for nutrients naturally available in the soil.


When you use the right distance and plant the Emerald right, they will grow at the right rate and healthy. That way, they will look beautiful and serve you right, depending on the purpose you have for them. All you need is to ensure you care for them right using the guide given above.