How to Care for Emerald Green Arborvitaes


Emerald green arborvitae grow 12 to 15 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide in a narrow conical shape. Some people purchase them in high numbers to create a privacy hedge, and others plant them as singular specimen plantings. This evergreen arborvitae requires some care and attention to thrive. Knowledge of how to protect the plant in the first year and how to care for it throughout its life will help you produce a thriving tree.

Step 1

Plant the emerald green arborvitae in early spring. Choose an area with full sun and moist, well-drained soil. The arborvitae will also do well in part shade, but in full shade will become sparse and airy. Plant the tree so that the top of the root ball is right below the surface of the soil.

Step 2

Water the tree deeply, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. The arborvitae will not root with constantly moist soil. Watering about once a week should be sufficient, if you do not receive rainfall, right up to the first frost.

Step 3

Place a 2- to 3-inch layer of bark or peat mulch around the base of the tree. This will protect the roots from cold and keep down the number of weeds in the area. Do not use stone mulch or plastic--these are detrimental to the tree.

Step 4

Wrap burlap around the tree for winter protection, especially in the first few years. After the plant is established it is a cold-hardy plant, but it needs protection before that point. Start from the bottom of the trunk and work your way up, taking care not to break branches or injure the tree. Tie the burlap with twine to secure it.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Bark or peat mulch
  • Burlap
  • Twine


  • Iowa State University Extension: Arborvitae: Versatile Evergreens for the Home Landscape
  • North Dakota State University Extension: Questions on--Arborvitae
  • University of Illinois Extension: Emerald Gree' Arborvitae Turning Light Green
Keywords: watering emerald arborvitaes, emerald arborvitae planting, emerald arborvitae care

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.