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5 Ways to Use Arborvitae in Your Landscaping

Are you interested in starting a major landscaping project? Looking for ideas and seeking some inspiration? Consider using arborvitae. These fast-growing evergreen trees can really take your yard from good to great. They’re so beautiful and lush that some even refer to them as “the tree of life.” We’re sure you will absolutely adore the gorgeous green color and elegant conical shape. Read on for some helpful tips about landscaping with arborvitae.

First, a few important things to note about landscaping with arborvitae:

They grow best in Hardiness Zones 2 to

  • While the exact height these trees can grow depends on the species, the most popular varieties grow 10 to 15 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide.
  • The best time of year to plant these trees is in the fall.
  • Arborvitae can tolerate partial shade but should get at least six hours of full sunlight per day.
  • They can be planted in the ground or in pots and/or containers
  • These trees can grow in a number of different types of soil, but make sure the soil is well-drained.
  • During the growing season, try to give the trees about an inch of water a week. Be careful not to over- or under-water the arborvitae.

Now, here are a few ideas for how to go about landscaping with arborvitae.

1. Use as a Privacy Screen

A major reason why so many people love landscaping with arborvitae is that they grow fast and dense. Within a year or two of planting, you’ll be in awe of just how full and lush they get. This makes them ideal for privacy screens or hedges.

Even if you want the trees to ultimately end up very close, be careful when planting. The trees need space to grow and spread so that they can truly thrive. Be sure to space them out when you plant them so that you don’t regret not giving them the right amount of room later. Even when planting them to be a screen or a hedge, try to keep three to four feet of space in between each.

A privacy screen, hedge, or border is probably the most common way to landscape with arborvitae. But another great thing about these trees? They are also incredibly versatile.

2. Frame Your Driveway or Walkway

Arborvitae doesn’t just work as a privacy screen. It also provides a beautiful way to invite people in. Arborvitae fits perfectly around an entryway. Use a series of these trees alongside the walkway to your home. Or put one on each side of your doorway. Or do both. The possibilities for landscaping with arborvitae are endless.

3. Use It as a Base for Variety

While arborvitae trees are great on their own or all together, they can also be mixed in with the other trees, flowers, and plants in your landscaping. For instance, try mixing them with perennials.

Because they are so stunning to look at, arborvitae can make an excellent focal point in your landscape.

Another popular use of the different varieties of arborvitae is to have a single one as a striking specimen tree.

4. Experiment With Arborvitae of Different Sizes and Shapes

Arborvitae trees can also be used in your landscaping in different shapes and sizes. There are dwarf varieties as well as options that can grow up to 70 feet tall. You can mix these in with the more popular types that grow around 10 to 15 feet tall.


You can also use the different heights on their own. For instance, the dwarf varieties can make great borders for your garden.

Some of the dwarf varieties also come in fun and different shapes. A number of these look like little tufts or pin cushions. While the typical arborvitae is taller than it is wide, these types are three to four feet in both width and height. Some even have names such as ‘Golden Globe’ to match their unique shape. Some are more golden, while others have the typical arborvitae emerald-green shade.


The tallest arborvitae make an even more private privacy screen or hedge. Consider placing those larger types at the furthermost areas of your landscape for an extra-strong and tall border.

Another excellent use of the taller varieties is as a natural windbreak tree. If you’re interested in adding one of those to your landscape, we recommend the arborvitae tree known and the ‘Green Giant’. Arborvitaes are already fast-growing trees, but this is the one that grows the most quickly. You can expect the Green Giant to grow about three feet a year. Typically, they grow to be 30 to 40 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide. Some can even reach 50 or 60 feet at maturity. As for growing conditions, sandy, loamy, or clay soil is best.

It’s not just the height that makes this a great choice for a natural windbreak. The ‘Green Giant’ is also strong enough to handle the weight and impact of harsh weather like heavy ice and snow. In addition to this, the ‘Green Giant’, as an evergreen, also keeps its gorgeous dark green shade and glossy sheen all year.

5. Create Topiarymr-tree-5-ways-to-use-arborvitae-in-your-landscaping-topiary

Are you interested in adding some topiaries to your landscape? Arborvitae trees make excellent candidates for trees to sculpt. Add a unique, extra decorative touch to really make your landscape reflect your style. You can try to sculpt the trees on your own or look into a professional service for that expert, extra-polished touch.

Once you finish landscaping with arborvitae, remember to take good care of the trees. Thankfully, another advantage of these types of trees is that they are pretty easy to care for and fairly low maintenance. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need any tender loving care. If you need pruning, have questions about potential pests and disease, or need help with anything, don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Tree services.

With decades of experience and vast expertise, our licensed arborists here at Mr. Tree will do the best quality work for your landscaping. We also have plenty of intriguing ideas to incorporate into your landscaping. You can find more information about Mr. Tree on our website.