Garden design and maintenance

Planting and maintaining thuja hedge – helpful gardening tips

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If you want to create an opaque hedge as a privacy screen in the garden, this is the right one Thuja hedge Perfect. In addition, the thuja is easy to care for, robust and hardly susceptible to diseases and pests. Therefore, there are no special things to consider for the location and care. This type of hedge grows relatively quickly and for this reason can be a perfect privacy screen in just a few years, which also looks fantastically beautiful and natural. That makes them as popular as the privet hedge.

Thuja hedge – the pretty tree of life in the garden


The thuja is also called the tree of life. It is an evergreen plant that consists of so-called scale leaves and grows by approx. 20 to 30 cm every year. If you have chosen this type of hedge, this article will be of great help in terms of care. If, on the other hand, you are not yet sure about the choice of thuja hedge, you may be convinced based on our information.

Location for the thuja hedge


It is important for the tree of life that it has a place in the sun. The hedge can make a compromise if it is only a location with little shade. The thuja hedge needs the sun to be able to grow quickly and well. If it does not receive enough sun rays, the scale leaves cannot turn green and instead take on an unsightly yellow to brown color. In this case, too, the hedge cannot grow tightly, but rather receive holes.

The floor

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You don’t need to worry about the floor. Most of the time, the soil in the garden is perfect for the thuja hedge. It is only important that the soil can store moisture for a longer period of time. In principle, you can follow the rule that swampy soil is better for the tree of life than dry one. An acidic soil is also suitable.

Compost for soil

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You can support good growth in the thuja hedge by adding some compost to the soil. In this way you provide him with important nutrients. Alternatives to compost are also humus or peat waste.

The right distance


Anyone who believes that a hedge is achieved by planting the individual plants close together is wrong. A sufficient distance should not only be ensured with the thuja hedge, otherwise the nutrients will be too low, because there is a kind of competition between them. This prevents the plants from developing well.

Plant the hedge

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Before you put the individual hedge plants in the ground, it should be loosened. This is important because the roots need air. Then dig the holes. The width and depth are determined by the circumference of the roots. The hole has to be twice as big as the root ball so that the young roots can spread out easily. Before you plant the thuja hedge, line each hole with compost, humus or peat, as already mentioned. The roots should also be about 5 cm below the ground after planting.

When to plant?


Anytime in spring or early summer is suitable for planting the thuja hedge, provided it is one day after the frost period. If you missed this period, you have another option in early autumn, preferably early October. Again, remember that this should be done before the first frost.



Once you have planted the thuja hedge, plenty of water is of course necessary so that the plants can adapt well. It doesn’t matter whether it rains or not. Water excessively within the first three weeks after planting.

Easy-care tree of life


Then you can leave the thuja hedge to its own devices. You only need additional irrigation during very hot summer periods. A great way to reduce worry about watering is to add a layer of bark mulch as you plant. This is because it stores moisture and also reduces the evaporation of water. Another advantage of this layer is that no weeds can form that “steal” the nutrients from the thuja hedge.

Fertilize thuja hedge

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If you want to accelerate or promote the growth of the thuja hedge, annual fertilization is necessary. Especially with nitrogen and magnesium you do something good for the bush. Midsummer is the best time to do this, because it gives the plant enough time to prepare for winter and the resting phase.

Thuja as a single shrub

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Fertilizing too late would in turn prevent this. For this reason, fertilizing should not be made up for if it was forgotten in the summer. Once you have fertilized the thuja hedge, plenty of watering is called for again so that the nutrients can be better absorbed by the plant.

Cut the hedge

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Cutting the thuja hedge is recommended at two times. The cut should be made before the first budding in spring, but after the last frost. As an alternative to this or for a second cut, late summer is also suitable.

Straight cut

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To get a straight cut, you can stretch some string. Otherwise, a shape that tapers towards the top is best for the thuja hedge. The reason for this is that this allows sufficient sunlight to reach the lower areas of the hedge, which in turn prevents the leaves from wilting.

Cut the tree of life to a point


In addition, no snow can remain on the top of the thuja hedge. Otherwise, the heavy snow could break the branches and ruin your pretty hedge. Under no circumstances cut back the old wood, only young shoots. Otherwise, there will be unsightly holes that will hardly and only slowly grow closed.

Poisonous hedge


Remember that the thuja hedge is a poisonous plant species. This is especially important if you have children or pets. Eating the leaves can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and, in more severe cases, even kidney damage. This should definitely be explained to children so that they do not come into contact with the hedge. Since the thuja hedge can also irritate the skin, gloves should always be worn when cutting.

Possible pests and diseases


As robust as the thuja hedge is, it can sometimes happen that the plants are attacked. Most of the time, however, the problem is limited without you having to intervene. However, if a plague does occur, take action before it is too late.

Brown leaves mark plagues


Typical pests on the arborvitae are the thuja bark beetle, the thuja leaf miners or caterpillars. In addition, there are fungal diseases caused by the Didymascella and Kabatina thujae mushrooms. However, you don’t need to worry about pests if you cut the thuja hedge regularly. The new shoots that you remove in the process serve the pests as nourishment, which is what they will lack after the cut.

Cut the infected leaves


Otherwise, you can recognize an infestation in the thuja hedge by the fact that the leaves first turn yellow and then turn brown. Corrosive acids are also often visible, while the fungi cause spots and spots. Before you resort to chemical means of control, try to bring the infestation under control by making a cut.

Dispose of infected branches properly


Sick, cut branches should also first be well packed and then preferably not disposed of in the garden. In this way you risk a renewed infestation not only in the thuja hedge, but possibly also in other plants in your garden. Instead, throw them in the household or organic waste where they will be disposed of appropriately.