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A property with an opaque green border creates privacy to feel good. With the fast-growing thuja, the desired height is reached in no time. The one called Brabant is the star among the many varieties for this purpose. It is hardy and allows pruning all year round. It tolerates heat waves and poor soil. And the urban climate doesn't seem to bother her either. How to plant Thuja Brabant.
Plant Thuja Brabant
The tree of life, as the thuja is also called, usually has a hedge existence in this country. There is nothing wrong with that either. She feels comfortable with narrow planting distances. Thanks to its compatibility with cuts, it remains a pleasing sight, even when strictly shaped. The Brabant variety in particular is considered to be the typical Heckenthuja. But don't let that deter you. This evergreen and densely growing coniferous tree also impresses as a solitary plant. Whenever you want a green eye-catcher, you can reach for Brabant. Especially if there is not too much space for the crown. It can be effortlessly shaped into a slender column. Whether it's a hedge or a solitary tree, it doesn't make much of a difference when it comes to planting.
The Brabant variety is usually offered on the market in pots or containers. For these soil-rooted specimens, almost any day of the year, apart from hot spells and frosty days, is considered a suitable time for planting. However, if you want to get the best possible result, you should also wait for the most suitable time:
- Spring is the ideal time for planting
- biggest frosts should be over
- The earth should have warmed up a bit
- the best time is in the months of April and May
- alternative planting time is late summer/early fall
New roots are formed more quickly in spring than in autumn. If thujas planted in autumn do not take root well in time before the cold snap, they may not survive the winter.
tip: Also postpone planting if the soil is too wet due to prolonged rainfall.
Thuja occidentalis Brabant, as the full botanical name is, likes a sunny spot. However, it is good if the tree of life does not feel the full force of the sun at midday. A light shadow, on the other hand, does not harm him. If the tree of life has to be in close contact with other specimens, its space should also be well ventilated. But be careful with dry winds, they can damage the plant.
These arborvitae grow well in well-drained soil. It can be loamy, sandy or heavy clay soil, as long as a drainage layer is integrated into the planting. Although it adapts to all soils, this plant does not like waterlogging. Nutrient-rich sandy and clay soils are preferred. Here are a few key data about the ideal soil conditions for this thuja variety:
- neutral to acidic is best
- with a pH between 6 and 8
- avoid swampy and poorly draining soils
- shake up the soil in mounds in wet locations
- Water can drain off better this way
- if the soil is dry, moisture must be maintained
- After planting, thick bark mulch must be spread
- Avoid very calcareous soils as the leaves turn yellow
Thuja Brabant as seedlings
Young plants can be bought cheaply in tree nurseries, garden centers and numerous online shops. The smaller the offered tree is, the cheaper it is in price. Most stores offer volume discounts for large orders. Buy the thujas just before you want to start the hedge planting project. But this also applies if you want to plant the Thuja as a solitary tree.
If you have access to a Thuja Brabant that is not too old, you can grow additional specimens from cuttings very reliably and inexpensively. Plant extraction is described in more detail below.
Prefer Thuja Brabant
Around the end of June is the ideal time for this project. The fresh shoots of the year are already sufficiently lignified. The warm temperatures also promise rapid rooting of the cuttings. The so-called cracklings are optimally suited for propagation. These are thin side branches that are not cut but torn off. They form roots more reliably than cut cuttings. Here's how to do it:
- select side branches in hidden places
- so no unsightly gaps are left behind
- Tear off the Ruptures directly at the junction
- remove its lower side branches
- Shorten other side branches and tip
- Cut off the torn bark end with scissors
- fill a large bowl with nutrient-poor potting soil
- Poke holes evenly with a stick
- Plant tearlings, they should not touch each other
- place in a shady and cool place outdoors
- cover with foil or transparent lid
- Air cover every few days
- Keep soil constantly moist
After just a few weeks, the tears will have increased significantly. The young trees may not be planted out until next spring. Earlier timing will not do them well outdoors. Therefore, let them continue to grow in the pot over the winter.
as a hedge
In a hedge, the arborvitae must be planted at a suitable distance. A middle way has to be found. On the one hand, the plants should have enough space to develop. On the other hand, the distance must not be too great so that the hedge quickly becomes opaque. How many plants should be planted per meter depends on their height:
- up to 40 cm: 5 plants per meter
- Heights up to 80 cm: 4 plants per meter
- up to 1.5 m: 3 plants per meter
- up to 2 m: 2 plants per meter
- larger specimens: 1 plant per meter
in solitary plants
If the Thuja Brabant is planted in a single position, it also needs sufficient distance to other plants or buildings so that it can develop freely all around. At the beginning of their existence, the space requirement is still small. But that will change. The conical crown can reach a maximum width of 3 - 4 m in old age. That is why it is better to close the free space during their “adolescence” with annual varieties of flowers, which, if necessary, can be removed at any time.
Plant Thuja Brabant: instructions
When the planting time has come, it is a good idea to proceed as follows:
- Water the root ball by placing the pot in a bucket filled with water until no more bubbles appear.
- Carefully loosen up the root ball. Then remove some thicker roots to encourage root growth.
- Dig a planting hole that should be at least twice as large as the root ball of the tree of life. If you want to plant several conifers as a hedge, you should dig a planting trench.
- Mix the excavation with compost or rotted horse manure.
- Loosen up the ground. Remove stones, roots and large clods of earth.
- If necessary, create a drainage layer. Sand and coarser gravel can be used for this.
- Measure and mark the distance between two specimens.
- Place your Thuja hedge plants in the planting ditch. They should not be deeper than they were in the pot. Turn each plant so that its best side faces the direction from which you will most likely see it later. Observe the plants from several meters away. This way you can see better whether they are standing up straight.
- In windy locations, you can use support posts next to each sapling. Strong movements would be felt down to the roots and disturb their rooting. The support posts can be removed later.
- Carefully spread the roots out in the planting hole and fill in the gaps with the excavation.
- Tread the earth with little pressure.
- Water the thujas extensively immediately after planting.
- If the soil tends to be dry, you should spread a 10 cm thick layer of mulch immediately after planting. Cover the root base in about half a meter in diameter.
- Continue to water the young thujas regularly, depending on the weather. Every 2 to 3 days you have to reach for the pot. The guideline for the amount of water is one large watering can per meter of height of the tree of life.
- The water supply of these conifers must also be kept in mind in the first three years until they have formed enough root mass and can take care of themselves sufficiently.
- If the young trees are exposed to stronger winds, you should take appropriate measures to protect them from drying out. For example with perforated foil, sackcloth or similar.
tip: The soil in the planting trench should be slightly deeper than the surrounding soil. This makes watering easier because the water cannot flow away.