Emerald Green Arbovitae from Costco

stslimited84April 5, 2012

Hey all,

First and foremost, thanks for such an informative forum.

I'm having a fence put in around a pool and will be using emerald green arborvitae as a privacy screen. Costco has their annual sale of plants and I picked up 24 5' arborvitae from them. I've had them since sunday and they will not be planted until the weekend of april 14th.

I'll also be picking up about 36 more of them tomorrow. I have approx. 203 feet of fence to line with these, so figured 60ish arborvitae planted 3' on center.

Couple of questions:

1) does the 3' spacing sound fine or do i need to change it since my intention is to use them for a privacy wall/hedge.

2) The arborvitae are in plastic pots from Costco. Ive been watering them daily. Is there anything else i need to/should do to ensure their survival until they can be planted?

3) When I plant them, should I mix in miracle grow tree n' shrub top soil to give them a boost?

Thanks in advance!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

3 ft. centers good.

I would give them moderate shade until planted. Keep black pots out of sun.

No boost or amendments. Add a 2 inch layer of mulch for moisture retention

Better by a few extra because several won't take. A common occurrence. That way you can replace that dead soldier when he croaks standing at attention with a duplicate.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the quick response. I know it would be ideal to plant them right away but the area being landscaped wont be completed till next weekend...and costco only has them for a limited time b/c they sell like hot cakes!

I'm watering them once a day currently trying to ensure the ball gets soaked. (basically until water is running out of the pot)

Should i get a soaker hose to go in when they're planted or just water by hand for a while?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 6:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

conifers are trees.. so follow the directions below

this early in spring.. you are probably over watering them ... it has simply not been hot enough for a tree in a pot to use that much water ...

do as dave says ...

have a soil test done.. and act according to those recommendations... for any amendments to the soil ...

otherwise.. they are NOT children.. and do not need to be fed .. and in fact.. feeding a recent transplant .. can be counterproductive.. in a few years.. a LITTLE OF THIS OR THAT is ok ... and they will most likely get whatever they need.. if you feed the lawn nearby ...

you and your index finger.. MUST INSURE THAT THEY NEVER DRY FOR THE WHOLE SUMMER . .. which the mulch will help .... but let them near dry in between deep soakings ... while insuring that they do NOT drown..


i would prefer some diversity.. should some plague come along in the future ... but oh well ...

read the link


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 7:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

when I said the water was coming out of the pot i meant the drainage holes at the bottom of them if that clarifies what i meant.

thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

tried editing the previous message. I sent you an email as well.

Not all the arborvitae have been bought so I'm open to suggestions. What were you thinking in terms of variety?

I went with arborvitae b/c i like the look, they will grow to the proper height to give us privacy around the pool, and are a great price at costco.

Suggestions encouraged and welcomed

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 7:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I'd get a soaker hose for sure. It will make watering easier this summer.
What zone are you in, or what big city are you near?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 9:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm zone 5b

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 10:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The ones here always look pretty questionable to me. Some are obviously dying right in the store, most years. Tiny root-balls, little/no watering from the warehouse...

In recent years big boxes have been getting oversize plants for undersize prices because the bottom has fallen out of the market for woody ornamentals, with the result that there have been fields full of them being dug and sold for peanuts.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 12:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I combed through the plants they had and picked the best ones. They have a fresh shipment coming next week and I'll be ordering from that stock so they aren't in transition for long.

Hopefully that will stave off any problems.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 10:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The problem with a row of identical soldiers is that when one dies or is damaged (not if) it will be impossible to match a replacement. It is much wiser to choose 3 or 4 varieties and do a mixed shrub border which leaves you much more in terms of flexibility when the inevitable disaster occurs.

Water running out of the bottom of the pot means nothing- if the rootball is dried up water will just run down the inside wall of the pot and out the bottom without doing anything for the plant. Sticking your finger into the soil is the only way to tell when they need water. If the pot feels very light set it in a couple of inches of water for 30 minutes or so to allow it to absorb water.
But only if the soil is dried out.

How wide an area is this string of trees going into?
That would determine suggestions for some alternative varieties to mix things up.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 1:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have about 2 weeks until the plants are scheduled to go in. The area will be approx. 4-6 feet wide.

Main requirements:

1) privacy (not necessarily right away, but will get there in time along with the arborvitae)
2) Low maintenance (i.e. not constantly dropping stuff that will go into the pool)
3) Relatively cheap
4) flows with the arborvitae


    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 3:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wish the forum would let me edit posts...

Along with suggestions for variety, if recommendations could be made on where to obtain the soon to be suggested variety in the Philadelphia area, that would be superb!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am stumped..

based both on your volume.. budget constraints.. size needs and the need for instant gratification.. due to the pool ...

at worst.. i was thinking of throwing in a yellow every third or 4th plant ... but all i can come up with is more thuja.. like yellow ribbons .. or the yellow one with the dutch name..which i am blanking on ... [i want to say horstman.. but i know that is wrong]

the key was reiterated: Sticking your finger into the soil is the only way to tell when they need water.

you can also tell a wet pot from a dry pot.. by weight ... they should all be rather heavy .. as compared to the lack of water weight ...

but it doesnt matter.. because they just dont need that much water this time of year.. its just not hot enough for the pots to be getting so dry.. that you need to water every single day ..

the fact that the water runs out the bottom.. MEANS NOTHING ... if the middle of the root mass is bone dry .. insert finger.. and use a screwdriver if you have to.. to find out how wet they are ..

did you read the planting guide yet ...???

consider buying a couple extra.. as nobody expects you to have a 100% success rate ... i wouldnt even expect such of myself over 50 odd plants ...

ENGINEERED drip irrigation.. would be brilliant ... see my suggestion at the link ... i have used the techline on my GGiants ...

drip irrigation has NOTHING to do with those carp weep hoses at bigboxstore ... we want to know how much is coming out of each dripper.. for how many gallons in how many hours... not hoping some cheap=-a$$ system will even push water down the length of the hose ... it can all be connected to a hose ... no need for anything fancy ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 6:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I hate even posting in this forum as everyone knows so much more than I about conifers...
That said I'm feeling brave, so:
I have many Juniperus chinensis 'Spartan' that have performed beautifully for me- and they are growing like gangbusters. They are a duller green, of course, but couldn't he consider something in Junipers? How about Blue Points? They are cheap and available everywhere.
I also have a Thuja Orientalis 'Blue Cone' that is about to outgrow everything but don't know about zones on that one.
The color sure is nice, though.

OK, back to the experts, lol.
And stop laughing.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Mostly green, some blue and a little yellow is a good balance. With a single row hedge I would have one yellow in the center, flanked on each side by one blue and then the rest green.

A little yellow goes a long way, with it tending to dominate. The blue serves primarily to cool it down and looks better right next to it than green.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 11:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

cear ....

participation has nothing to do with knowledge ... just go for it ...

even the know-it-alls can feed off your enthusiasm .... which such.. we have been lacking as winter got too long ... i am hoping the posts pick up.. as spring flush reinvigorates enthusiasm ...

regardless.. i still cant figure out your name ...

so if i had a fence line ... i might put a yellow in the center.. and at each corner.. and a blue on either side ... just to avoid an otherwise green curtain ...

where you get these mystery plants.. and what they cost.. is left to the fates ... but even if you cant find them until fall planting time.. that would be OK ... in my world ...

have you told us where you are.. other than z5??? .. perhaps we can make suggestions as to nursery ..

and.. did you study the planting guide yet???


    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey guys,
First and foremost thanks for all the input.

I'm ok with spending a bit more on some different yellow or blue etc since they won't be the vast majority planted.

I did read the planting guide and plan to read your irrigation link.

I'm in a Philadelphia suburb and am a newbie when it comes to landscaping. Finally saved up some money to make it nice around the pool.

Sorry for any of the novice questions. The help is greatly appreciated and photos will follow once I get it done.

If u guys can give me the actual plant names and possible sources that would be fantastic!

Thanks all :)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 4:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What are the actual names for the yellow and blues you guys are talking about? Where would you recommend picking some up?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

thuja occidentalis 'holmstrup yellow'

took me a few days to recall the name...

i have no clue where you can buy them in your area... they should not be all that rare ... but you probably wont find them at bigbox ...

and do not think they have to be exactly the same size as the others.. diversity of size is also good ... smaller would be cheaper...

another yellow versions would be T. o.'yellow ribbons' ... and T. o.'sunkist'

time to let your fingers do the walking.. talk to some upper end nurseries.. for regional sellers ....

i never mentioned blue.. so good luck with that .. blue arbs are not all that blue ...

check out the link ...

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Any blue, yellow or for that matter green conifer that seemed otherwise suitable for the specific project. It does not necessarily all have to be arborvitaes, and would probably be more interesting if it wasn't.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 12:30PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
emerald green problems, maybe
Hi, I purchased emerald green arborvitaes (or at least...
ID dwarf conifers
We moved in a few months ago, and these are in the...
sequoia seedling with black spots - spray?
I got this 1 year old seedling online a month ago and...
hardening off new plants from the PNW
do we.. in the cold north.. just slap them in the ground.....
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
Pinus Sabiniana from Crimea, Yalta
3,5 month 1 month. This is another pine. Pinus Sabiniana...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™