su_quote]Thujas are used in interior gardens and street design. A beautiful ornamental tree well suited for planting alone, in rows, and as a hedge. The hedge is green all year round and provides a natural barrier against wind, dust and noise pollution.[/su_quote]
Features of thuja plants
A coniferous tree from the Cypress family, native to North America and East Asia. Trees and shrubs belonging to this family have scaly or needle-like leaves. Cultivated as ornamental plants and can be planted alone in the yard or in public parks and gardens, also in combination with other ornamental plants to form hedges.
This type of conifer has a straight stem with reddish-brown bark and a pyramidal crown. The cones of this plant are small, spherical, slightly elongated and consist of several scales.
How to care for thuja?
Thuja requires the same care as any other ornamental plant or fruit tree. They need to be regularly trimmed, fed, watered so that it remains beautiful for a long time.
They can be planted both in partial shade and in sunny places. The chosen place must be protected from drafts. When planting, take into account the size of the tree: the larger the tree, the more space it needs to grow. They are often planted to create hedges, while the trees are left to grow freely, leaving a distance of 1 meter between them.
The soil in which thuja shrubs and trees grow must be fertile, loose, rich in nutrients. They prefer slightly acidic, well-drained soil.
Tui plants have a shallow root and need a lot of water during the drought period. If plants don’t get enough water, they dry out. Too much water will suffocate the roots and even cause them to rot. To avoid these problems, provide good drainage.
Note! In the first two weeks after planting, the thuja will need water daily, then it is watered every three days. After the first month of planting, you can reduce the frequency of watering to twice a week, provided that the temperature is not too high. After 6 months, the thuja will take root well, and will no longer need additional watering.
These coniferous plants do not need fertilizer unless the soil is problematic and lacks nutrients. Fertilization is recommended in early spring, after the last frost or early autumn. It is shown to be added to the pit where the thuja seedling is planted.
Tui tolerate pruning well, and it is carried out not only for shaping, but also for rejuvenation. The best time to trim it is the end of winter. Trimming the tips of the branches accelerates their growth and forms beautiful and rich foliage.
By cutting off the crown, you can correct some shape defects or get its special shapes. When pruning, dried branches and those that have grown beyond the outline of the contours are removed.
How to plant thuja
The optimal seasons for planting arborvitae are spring and autumn, but they can be planted all year round until the ground freezes. When planting in the summer, it may happen that the plant does not take root. At the beginning of autumn, the weather conditions are favorable for the establishment of plants, when the soil is still warm and the temperature and humidity are optimal.
Additional Information! When planting thuja in the spring, it is important to make sure that the period of winter frosts has passed. When digging a hole, it is important to remember that it should be 10-15 cm larger than the root ball. Deeper than the root in depth, bush and three times as wide.
Fertilizers applied at planting support and accelerate the rooting of the tree. It is scattered along the bottom of the hole, then the plant is lowered and a quarter of the hole is covered with earth. Next, the soil around the tree must be compacted to eliminate the air voids that form when the soil is backfilled. Water is poured, allowed to drain, and the entire hole is filled with soil. At the end, water abundantly.
Mulching soil with sawdust or bark around the plant will retain moisture, keep the soil loose and decorative.
How does thuja reproduce?
Tui are sold in the market grown in pots, and have formed roots. The plant can be kept in a pot even for several months before planting. At home, thuja can be propagated by cuttings or grafting.
Cuttings are carried out in August or December. They take cuttings from semi-lignified stems, up to 10 cm long, and grow them as seedlings in a layer of sand or in the open air.
Water them periodically to keep the soil moist, but not excessively. In winter, plants are protected with plastic wrap. After about 1-1.5 months, the branches will have roots.
The lower branches are dug into the ground, and when they take root, they will give rise to a new plant. They are separated from the mother plant and planted separately.
Growing thuja from seeds
Propagation by seeds is the most effective, as it leads to a large number of plants, but they do not completely inherit the characteristics of the mother plant. The cones are harvested in September. Stratification of seeds is carried out for several weeks and sown in open ground in May to a depth of about half a centimeter.
Although they are very disease resistant, conifers can have some problems. It can be fungal diseases or pests. Browning of thuja leaves is a very common disease.
Preventive spraying with insecticides is important for plant health. It is important to carry out spraying annually in the spring, in the middle and at the end of summer. The fight is carried out with preparations based on copper, markoceb, etc.
Diseases can occur for many reasons: improper planting, inappropriate planting time, soil problems, too small distance between plants, excessive soil moisture, large temperature fluctuations, improper fertilization, etc.
Important! Berkman’s disease branches change color from green to reddish brown. At the first sign of the disease, cut off the affected branches.
Evergreens do not shed their leaves as much as deciduous trees in autumn. Tui gradually get rid of dead leaves, and they get stuck between healthy branches. Harmful insects and fungi settle on them. Spider mites and aphids are harmful, and it is necessary to fight them with chemicals.
Most of the problems are caused by a lack of nutrients in the soil, or the thuja cannot extract them due to the soil. Soil with high acidity or alkalinity are reasons that can make it difficult and even block the access of plants to essential nutrients.
Lack of water can also cause the branches to dry out. Thuja sheds some of its foliage to conserve water.
Use in traditional medicine
Thuja is valued as an ornamental plant, but it also has medicinal properties. Products derived from thuja can have both external and internal uses. They have a stimulating, diuretic, antirheumatic, expectorant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic effect; Any treatment must be agreed with the doctor and strictly observe the dosage prescribed by him.
Thuja contains a special essential oil, consisting of sesquiterpenes, flavonoids, mucus, tannins and polysaccharides. It is extracted from the leaves, branches and bark of the arborvitae.
Types of thuja
The most famous are the eastern, western and giant thuja. Dwarf varieties are used as shrubs and can be arranged in a variety of styles. Some species can grow in pots and do not need to be planted in the garden, and can be used to decorate a terrace or balcony.
Most often, thuja western is chosen to decorate landscape areas, since planting this species and caring for them in the open field do not create any particular difficulties.
Western thuja (common thuja) – a tall tree (10-15 m) has an elegant appearance, and requires less space. It is more sensitive to drought than thuja orientalis, so it needs regular watering. It is necessary to monitor the introduction of nutrients in spring and autumn, then the plant will have a more beautiful color and liveliness.
Thuja orientalis – trees 8-10 m high, less often shrubs, with a compact crown, with branched branches at the base. Strong plant with a large root system. These arborvitae are hardy, tolerate drought well, but their space requirements are quite large.
The giant thuja is very decorative, with a dense pyramidal crown and fits very well into any landscape. It is planted separately and in combination with other ornamental plants to create hedges. Low-growing varieties look great in rows, as a backdrop for flower beds.
Despite its popularity in our gardens, this tree is not very easy to grow. It is sensitive to frost, so it should be planted in a place protected from cold winds.
Each type or variety of thuja has special characteristics. Pruning, proper watering, nutrient solutions, protection from pests are part of proper care for them. Therefore, in addition to general recommendations, it is important to take into account the care features characteristic of the selected variety.