Evergreen trees are loved by everyone, and they are especially important in winter, bringing form and color to your garden when the trees are bare. There are many evergreens, but not all of them will grow in colder parts of the country, but one that will is the American arborvitae, or white cedar. This plant is widely used as hedges and specimens in cold areas, because it is more cold-hardy than just about any other evergreen, thriving even in the bitter colds of Canada, but still growing happily in all areas outside the South, Florida, and California.
However there is more to gardening than planting hedges, and another use for evergreens is as interesting specimens around the house or garden. This is where DeGroot’s Spire Arborvitae stands out as a ‘must have’ plant. It grows steadily into an upright column, with attractive twisted branches that give it an elegant look and set it apart from other upright arborvitae with more bland and boring outlines.
This is the perfect plant for a feature in a narrow space, and it is the ideal specimen for a small garden, or to create a narrow hedge that needs little or no trimming. It will grow well in full sun or partial shade, and with its narrow, upright outline it sheds snow and ice without breaking, so it will do well even in exposed areas. For an attractive tree of similar form in hot areas, choose the Italian Cypress.
American Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis, is a small tree growing to perhaps 60 feet, which is native to south-eastern Canada and the north-eastern USA. It has soft, scale-like leaves pressed on the stems which in turn are arranged in sprays. Wild trees have an open habit, but most garden varieties have been selected to be denser, either upright or rounded. There are several upright varieties, but ‘Degroot’s Spire’ is the pick of them, because it has elegant twisted branches, that give an interesting textural outline to the tree, making a real feature in your garden. It will grow 6 inches or more a year to reach perhaps 15 feet tall and 4 feet wide in 20 years, but like all evergreens it will continue to grow as long as it lives, and become a more striking and elegant specimen every year. The exact origin of this outstanding variety seems to have been lost.
There are many kinds of arborvitae, but our plants are taken from plants derived from the original form, so they are very superior to cheaper seedling plants that will be completely different, much larger and looser in form, and not suitable at all for use as a striking specimen bush.
Plat your DeGroot’s Spire Arborvitae in a sunny or partially shaded spot, in average to moist soil. Arborvitae do best in soil that is rich and moist, but once established this tree will handle normal summer dry periods with no problem. There are no significant pests or diseases, but deer will eat the foliage in winter if they can. For a hedge, plant 18 to 24 inches apart in a row and water well for the first summer or two. The great thing about using DeGroot’s Spire Arborvitae for a hedge is that little or no trimming is needed, as the growth is so compact. For low-maintenance that takes some beating and you will always have a neat hedge with an interesting texture. It is also possible to trim the plants if desired for an even neater profile. Trim from late spring to early fall, as winter damage can occur on newly-trimmed hedges, especially in colder areas.
Whether you are looking for an outstanding but easy to grow specimen evergreen for a narrow spot, or want to create a low maintenance hedge or screen, DeGroot’s Spire Arborvitae is the #1 pick of hardy evergreens. This popular variety is always in high demand, so order now to avoid the disappointment of it being sold out.