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How to Grow American Pillar Arborvitae Plants

By GrowJoy
Photographs courtesy of GrowJoy

Whether you’re looking to grow a living privacy fence or cut down on traffic noise, you’ll want to check out these easy tips on how to grow American Pillar arborvitae (pronounced are-burr-VEE-tie or are-burr-VY-tee) plants before you start.

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The Perfect Natural Privacy Screen

American Pillar do best in deeply worked, fertile, and well-drained soil. Making sure that your soil is the right consistency is key. It’s a bit of a job, so to save time and energy, the best way to prep your soil is to use a rototiller. Till down about 10 inches deep, then add one-part peat moss or compost to four parts soil. This will increase your drainage.

Once you’ve got the soil prepped, you’ll want to dig a planting hole that’s twice as wide as the root ball. This will give the roots space to stretch out as the shrub matures and grows. The dark green branches are very dense, so if you’re planting them as a living fence, space them only two feet apart. This way they will spread into each other and create a tight “living wall.”

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When to Plant American Pillar

The best time to plant American Pillar shrubs is in the fall. They become dormant around early November. Or you can do it in the spring in late March before new growth starts. American Pillar arborvitae can also be easily transplanted, even at a height of twelve feet.

Growing Tips

Like most broadleaf evergreen shrubs, arborvitae prefer a slightly acid soil, with a soil pH reading from 5.5 to 6.0. It is best to test your soil before planting. If there is little organic matter in the soil, amend by adding peat moss or compost. Newly planted shrubs need a water-soluble starter fertilizer to boost root growth.

American Pillar prefers full sun locations but will also grow in part sun to some shade. To make this already low-maintenance plant even easier to care for, use two to four inches of mulch around the base to hold moisture in the soil.

Ready to get started on your living fence? Check out our collection of arborvitae and get growing!


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