Arborvitaes are very sparse

jch2osJune 12, 2014

I bought about 60 trees and planted them, in July of last year, around my pool in the backyard. All but two survived the winter. I was happy! When I bought them they were anywhere from 1' to 5' tall. Some full and some pretty thin/sparse. Even my full ones do not look like what you would buy at the big box stores. I paid I think $1.50 a tree so it wasn't a huge expense and they had a bed they took them out of. They were really jammed in there tight so a lot of them had more growth on the top than at the bottom.

What I would like to know is how can I get these to fill out more? Will they if I just let them or should I trim the tops so the growth goes side to side until they look fuller.

Most of them look something like this:

That is just a picture I found online, I can take pictures when I get home if that would help. But I really want them to look more like this

Keep in mind, those aren't my plants I'm just pointing out how I want mine to look. Would love if someone could hlep me out. Thanks!

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Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by Davesconifers on Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 15:32

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:27PM
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That looks like the link of the sparse tree that I sent, did you try to send a different one? Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:39PM
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I posted the first link just to be courteous to other members.

Please provide the link you want to show us in the Optional Link URL:

We don't need to copy and past here with that option available.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 5:34PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you are expecting a lot .. for a transplant .. within one year...

they will grow above the ground.. when they get the roots below ground re-established... and you cant see that... and it can take 1 to 3 years ... and ... all you can do is water PROPERLY ...

the top third of the plant pictured [try using the HTML code .. and the pic should show up in your post on preview.. if you see it.. we will see it ] .. looks .. IN THIS PIC... off color .. that part might fail in the heat of summer ... if so..cut it off.. and it will releader ... and in a year or two.. reduce back to one leader ...

they will fill out.. when they fill out... when they get fully established.. and that might take a year or two more ...

if you planted 50.. i hope you have realistic expectations... that none of us.. could bat 1.00 ... you may have losses... so what.. we all would ... we will deal with that later ...

IMHO ... 'feeding' them.. will not make its genetic capabilities move faster ...

i see now.. this isnt even your plant ... crikey ...

lets see your actual plant.. and see if any of the above is relevant ...

and get this thru your head.. they are trees... they do not.. and will not.. grow like perennials/annuals ... we can all wish they grew that fast.. but they just wont ... all i hope for the first year or two.. is that they dont die.. they will take care of the rest... over the next few years ...

proper water.. and patience.. is all you have.. to hang your hat on ...


    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 7:31AM
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OK I will post my actual plants tonight. I'm not expecting them to be huge this year. Just wanted to make sure I was doing everything I should be doing. I have no issues waiting and that is what I told my wife. But I'm not an expert so I wanted to reach out. Thanks for the help and I will link the pics tonight.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 7:53AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Buying field dug plants in July didn't help matters very much.
Ken, my son has a cockatiel named Crikey. lol
Mike...waiting for pics.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 9:26AM
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Here is one pic, another coming

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:03AM
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And the second, sorry they are kind of hard to see.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:04AM
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My time of when we bought them might be a little off as well. You know how that goes! It might have been spring :) Anyway they don't look bad, just didn't know if I need to prune them so they fill out or if I just let them be for this year and work on them next. They are growing!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:19AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

They look real healthy, a little thin though. Could be because of the shade they are slow to fill in. Shearing or pruning won't help much.
Way too close to the fence though!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:19PM
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They do look closer to the fence in the picture. They are about 8" from the fence. I wanted them to pretty much hide the fence as they grow. I guess we will see!

Do you think they will start filling in next year more? Just a time thing?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 3:01PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Eight inches from the fence is MUCH too close. How about 4 feet from the fence? Much more realistic. Not an exaggeration either.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 6:48AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

You want to hide the fence, not knock it over.
Too late now, unless you want to replant them this Fall.
That probably won't happen.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 8:33AM
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