Fertilizer for Arborvitaes: Keeping Your Trees Healthy and Vibrant

Are you looking for ways to keep your arborvitae trees healthy and vibrant? You’ve come to the right place!

Fertilizing is one of the most important steps for proper arborvitae maintenance. In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide on how to appropriately fertilize your trees for maximum health and growth.

Arborvitae trees (Thuja spp.) are a popular shrub and hedge species, characterized by their iconic fan-like triangular foliage. As with any living organism, arborvitaes require fertilizer to ensure they remain healthy and vibrant. To help you understand what your trees need, this guide provides an overview of the basics of fertilizing arborvitaes and outlines specific nutrients to consider when selecting the right fertilizer for your trees.

In addition to offering valuable insight into fertilizers for arborvitaes, this guide offers helpful tips on application of said fertilizers as well as best practices for maintaining your trees’ health and companionship. Taking the time to read through it will be hugely beneficial not only in helping your arborvitaes thrive but also in extending their life span – so let’s get started!

Understanding Arborvitaes

Arborvitaes have dense evergreen foliage, enabling them to create a living privacy wall or architectural element in landscapes. Straightforward to grow, arborvitaes are frequently used as individual specimens, hedges or windbreaks. However, they do require some maintenance to stay healthy and ensure your trees remain vibrant and beautiful. Understanding important elements related to the health of your arborvitaes will help you create a fertilizer plan that keeps your trees looking their best.

Arborvitaes can vary in size, depending on species, but their growthhabit often remains similar regardless of their ultimate size. They produce upright trunks with branches reaching out horizontally along the sides to form fan-shaped outlines as the plant grows and matures.

Important elements for an arborvitae’s well-being include fertilization with appropriate fertilizers; proper pruning; disease prevention through controlling environmental factors such as sun scald and nutritional deficiencies; and adequate supplies of water and fertilizer during periods of drought stress.

Characteristics and growing conditions

Arborvitae (Wedelia trilobata) is a popular evergreen that can be used as a hedge plant or for screening. It’s often used for landscaping due to its need for little maintenance and ability to adapt to different climates. However, it does require adequate nutrients throughout the growing season to keep it looking healthy and vibrant. In order to provide the best environment for your arborvitae, fertilizing it regularly is an important factor in successful cultivation.

Characteristics and Growing Conditions: Arborvitaes are hardy in USDA zones 4-7, where temperatures are milder in the winter months, although some gardeners have reported success with them in warmer climates too. They thrive best when planted in full sun or partial shade and can grow up nearly 3 meters high, depending on their location and conditions. The crown of foliage typically starts green with new foliage emerging lighter yellow-green before turning a lush dark green as they mature into year-round color displays of a deep green-black hue.

The key is providing the adequate fertilizer supply throughout the entire growing season so your plants will stay healthy, spread thickly if desired, with open centers that reduce fire hazards; resist disease (although disease resistance varies by species); retain their drought tolerance for dry conditions; takes freeze damage better; stay greener longer during autumn months; produce deep root systems without excessive growth above ground which reduces risks from wind damage; and maximize flowering potential during spring months which are necessary for pollination purposes. Suitable fertilizers should contain all three major elements – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Nitrogen promotes leaf production while phosphorus stimulates root development because of its role in photosynthesis while potassium tends to assist cell division and improve resistance against disease. Other additional elements should be included depending on your soil type such as calcium, iron, zinc sulphur Boron etc., to meet specific requirements of every species of arborvitae you’re growing-to make sure that they have more than enough nourishment while they’re actively growing throughout the warm months.

Common problems and diseases

It is not uncommon for arborvitaes to experience problems or develop diseases. In order for your trees to remain healthy and vibrant, it’s important to understand what these common issues are, how they can be treated, and how often fertilizer should be applied.

Common problems and diseases of arborvitaes include:

-Leaf spot: Leaf spot is caused by a number of fungi that attack the leaves of an arborvitae. The spots may begin as small lesions and can eventually lead to major tissue damage. In some cases, the leaves turn yellow or brown from the lesions. Treatment usually involves pruning affected limbs and applying fungicide to reduce spread of the disease.

-Root rot: Root rot can occur when roots become waterlogged due to heavy rains or floods, resulting in root discoloration and decay. This can lead to severe canopy thinning or tree death if left untreated. Treatment may involve improving drainage around the tree and amending soil with compost if necessary. Fertilizer applications should also be reduced to avoid over-fertilizing as this can contribute further stress on the tree’s roots system.

-Powdery mildew: Powdery mildew is caused by an array of fungi that survive on moisture trapped on plants surface areas such as under leaf surfaces, behind twig crotches, etc.. It appears initially as small white spots on leaves but can quickly spread throughout entire branches if not addressed promptly with treatment including pruning away affected growth & applying a fungicide spray designed specifically for arborvitae trees.

To promote strong root systems and help prevent common ailments from taking hold in arborvitaes, regular fertilizer applications are key towards keeping your trees healthy and vigorous throughout the growing season. When selecting fertilizer for your landscape’s trees always make sure it contains macro/micro nutrients that promote growth such as nitrogen as well slow release nitrogen components (& other ingredients) which will help improve plant health in a slow & steady manner over weeks time period vs instant burst upon initial application.

How to Fertilize Arborvitaes

Arborvitaes belong to the group of conifers that need very little maintenance, but they do require periodic fertilization if they are to maintain their health and robust growth. In this section, we will cover the basics of how to apply fertilizer for optimal results. Keep in mind that these tips may differ depending on your particular tree species and climate zone; always refer to your local extension agency or nursery for tailored advice.

Fertilizer should be applied either in early spring or late autumn (or both) when temperatures are moderate. Choose a well-balanced slow-release fertilizer, preferably in granular form and with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) ratio of 10:10:10 or higher. Before applying the fertilizer, water the tree to make sure that the roots can absorb it properly. Sprinkle it around the base of the plant at a rate of 1/2 pound per 100 square feet (approximately ¼ cup of fertilizer per 10 square feet). Aim for even coverage, but avoid getting any fertilizer onto foliage or in contact with trunks as this can cause burning.

Once you have spread the fertilizer evenly across your desired area, lightly water it into the ground so that it reaches the roots more quickly and easily. Monitor your tree’s health regularly – if it looks pale or is not growing normally then you may need to fertilize again; if so, refer back to this guide for instructions on how much and when to apply another dose of fertilizer for best results!

Techniques for applying fertilizer

Applying fertilizer to your arborvitae can provide the trees with the specific nutrients they need in order to flourish. It is important that you select a fertilizer specifically designed for arborvitaes, as different types of trees may require different nutrients and levels of those nutrients. You should also be aware that applying too much or too little fertilizer can hurt your trees, so it is best to adhere closely to the guidelines below.

Fertilizer can be applied in two ways: surface-feeding or deep-feeding. For surface-feeding, it’s important to evenly spread granular fertilizer around the base of the tree and 8–10 inches away from its trunk. If a slow-release fertilizer was chosen, water it lightly immediately after spreading to ensure that all the particles are activated.

For deep-feeding, you should select a slow-release liquid form of fertilizer and apply it directly into each hole around the tree surrounding roots 10–12 inches deep at about 2–4 inch intervals apart according to a plan dependent on fertilization schedule (determined by local extension agents). After this process has been completed, water deeply and thoroughly twice before finishing up with 1–2 supplementary watering cycles during peak summer months when less water is acquired naturally via rainfall or other natural sources.

It is recommended that you wait until after flowering has finished before applying any type of fertilizer and repeat this process every month at least three times during peak growing season; alternatively, springtime applications once yearly are sufficient if preferred by user. By following these recommendations and using the correct type and amount of fertilizer, you will be able to maintain healthy and vibrant arborvitaes year round!

Tips for maximizing absorption

The key to making sure your arborvitae trees receive the nutrients they need to stay healthy and vibrant is maximizing the absorption of fertilizer. To help ensure that your arborvitae trees get everything they need, follow these tips:

-Be sure to apply fertilizer when the soil is moist. This will help avoid burning or damaging the roots and also ensure that your tree gets as much of the nutrients as possible.

-Make sure you are using the right type of fertilizer for arborvitae trees. Different species of arborvitaes can have different nutrient requirements, so be aware of what type will fit best for your specific needs.

-Break up soil clumps around roots before fertilizing – this will increase absorption rates and reduce clumping.

-Utilize a slow release fertilizer option – these products are designed to provide a steady stream of essential nutrients over an extended period rather than all at once, allowing them to go to work immediately while also guarding against over application in any one area

-Spread fertilizer evenly over the root zone – this ensures that all areas receive an adequate supply and helps prevent any potential nutrient deficiencies

-Water well after applying – this allows for better absorption by ensuring water moves down through the application area taking all needed nutrients with it.

Precautions and safety measures

When using fertilizer for Arborvitaes, it is important to take certain safety measures. For one, make sure that you are wearing appropriate clothing and protective gear when handling the product. Wear a pair of gloves in order to prevent skin irritation from direct contact with the fertilizer. Additionally, wear personal protective equipment such as a dust mask and safety glasses. This will help protect your eyes and lungs from exposure to dust particles caused by mishandling of fertilizer products.

Also ensure that you are following the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the product. Depending on the type of fertilizer used, there may be specific pH requirements for proper application of the product for optimal results. Improper use or over-application of this product can adversely affect your trees’ health, growth and vibrancy – so use caution when handling the fertilizer!

Lastly, always store leftover fertilizer safely in its original container or a well-labeled container in an area away from any sources of heat or open flame/sparks (this will help prevent any potential fire hazards). Properly dispose of empty containers as well; check with your local waste disposal guidelines for assistance in deciding how best to dispose of these items in an environmentally responsible way without causing any damage to neighboring flora or fauna!

Alternative Fertilization Methods

While standard balanced liquid fertilizer application is the most common method used to supplement the soil surrounding arborvitaes, there are alternative methods that can be used to provide your trees with the nutrients they need. These may include:

Organic Fertilization – Organic matter provides nutrients and microorganisms that are beneficial to plants as they help break down organic material into forms readily accessible by plants. Examples of organic matter include compost, mulch and manures.

Biofertilizers – Biofertilizers use living organisms or their byproducts (such as enzymes) to improve soil fertility and enhance plant growth. Examples of biofertilizers include mycorrhizae, rhizobia, nitrogen-fixing bacteria and green manures.

Foliar Feeding – Foliar feeding is a technique which involves applying fertilizer directly onto the leaves of a plant. This method helps deliver nutrients directly to where they’re needed, though not all fertilizers are suitable for foliar application, so check with your supplier before purchasing.

Organic and natural fertilizers

Organic and natural fertilizers are by far the best option for arborvitaes. These fertilizers can generally be applied up to about twice a year, but it’s important to remember to water thoroughly after any applications. Make sure you know how much fertilizer your arborvitaes need — too much can harm or even kill them. Generally, a good rule of thumb is one teaspoon of fertilizer per square foot of soil around the base of your tree.

Organic fertilizers like manure and compost are especially helpful for arborvitaes; these materials release their nutrients slowly into the soil, providing a steady supply that helps the tree grow healthy and strong. Manure should be aged for a few months before application; once aged, place it at least six inches deep into soil around tree and pat down lightly or soak with water immediately afterwards. Compost should also be applied around trees in springtime when new growth begins – mix it into the top few inches of soil or use as mulch where needed; again, make sure you water thoroughly afterwards to get maximum benefits from this organic fertilizer.

Homemade fertilizers

Home-made fertilizers are a great choice for Arborvitae since they are inexpensive, and provide an all-natural solution. These kinds of fertilizers can be created using organic materials such as kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and compost.

Some kitchen scraps that provide important nutrients such as nitrogen include eggshells, coffee grounds, fruit rinds or peelings (e.g., banana peels), or vegetable peels or scrapings (e.g., onion skin). Additionally, using too much nitrogen can burn the roots of the tree so it’s important to use it in moderation– crunched up eggshells are helpful in providing not only nutrients but also buffer any “burning” that can occur from too much nitrogen. Grass clippings should be used with caution as they could introduce weeds into your garden however if you’re sure to monitor the use of these products, then it’s a great way to get some extra nitrogen into your soil! Finally– compost! Compost is a fantastic addition because it is filled with various essential minerals and other nutrients that can help nourish your trees.

Homemade fertilizer solutions should be applied often and liberally for those desiring vigorous growth for their Arborvitaes’. An occasional deep watering after application helps move the nutrients further down into the root system where they will do most good. A single application during the growing season is usually enough but multiple applications may still be beneficial if there has been an extended drought period or if slow growth has been noticed over time due to nutrient deficiency. Monitor your trees to ensure good health by checking for discolored foliage or excessive leaf drop which is typically indicative of fertilizer related problems and take action accordingly.

Benefits and drawbacks of alternative methods

In addition to traditional fertilizer, there are a number of other methods that you can use to help keep your arborvitaes healthy and vibrant. These methods have their own benefits and drawbacks, and it’s important to understand what those are before making a choice.

Organic fertilizers are made from natural materials such as compost, seaweed, manure and bone meal. These fertilizers will encourage the development of beneficial microbes in the soil that can help improve soil quality, increase water retention and reduce compaction. However, these materials may take longer to break down in the soil and may be more expensive than processed fertilizers.

Compost teas are an inexpensive way to provide your arborvitaes with additional micronutrients that can promote healthy growth. Compost tea is made from steeped composted materials combined with aerated water which increases the presence of beneficial bacteria, fungi and protozoa in the tea which can then be used as a foliar spray or added directly to the soil as a top-dressing. The downside is that it requires a lot of time to make properly brewed compost tea since it must steep for 48-72 hours under controlled conditions before it is ready to use.

Liquid fertilizers provide arborvitaes with essential nutrients quickly since they penetrate the soil more easily than their granular counterparts. While this makes them an efficient choice for fast absorption into plant roots, they require frequent application due to their fast breakdown rate in the soil so they can be expensive over time depending on how much you need for your trees. Additionally liquid fertilizers should not be combined with fungicides or any other chemical additives as this will decrease their effectiveness when applied alone.


As a homeowner, you have many options available to keep your Arborvitaes looking their best. With proper fertilization, pruning and irrigation, your plants will remain healthy and vibrant for years to come.

Always use organic or slow-release fertilizers specifically designed for Arborvitaes when possible. These types of products will help promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil that can protect your tree from damage caused by insects and disease.

Be sure to monitor the health and size of your plants regularly to quickly identify any potential issues before they become serious problems. With regular care and maintenance, your trees should stay strong and flourishing for years to come.


What fertilizer should I use for arborvitaes?

Arborvitaes generally prefer a balanced fertilizer with equal ratios of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

How do you make arborvitae healthy?

To make arborvitae healthy, you should provide them with adequate water, sunlight, and nutrients. Pruning and removing dead or diseased branches can also help.

What is the best fertilizer for Thuja trees?

A slow-release fertilizer with a balanced NPK ratio, such as a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 blend, is ideal for Thuja trees.

What is the best way to maintain arborvitae?

Regular pruning to remove dead or diseased branches, proper watering and fertilization, and monitoring for pests and diseases are all important for maintaining arborvitae.

What are common problems with arborvitae?

Common problems with arborvitae include pests such as spider mites and bagworms, diseases such as cedar apple rust and blight, and environmental stressors like drought or excessive heat.

Why do my arborvitae keep dying?

Arborvitae can die due to a variety of factors, including improper watering, poor soil quality, pests and diseases, and environmental stressors like extreme temperatures.

Do arborvitae need lots of water?

Arborvitae prefer moist but well-drained soil, so they do require regular watering, particularly during dry spells.

What do arborvitae need to thrive?

Arborvitae thrive in full sun to partial shade and require regular watering and fertilization to maintain healthy growth. They also benefit from proper pruning and monitoring for pests and diseases.

How do I make my arborvitae grow fuller?

To make arborvitae grow fuller, you can prune the tips of the branches to encourage bushier growth. Fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer can also promote healthy growth.

What is the best fertilizer for emerald green trees?

A slow-release fertilizer with a balanced NPK ratio, such as a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 blend, is ideal for emerald green trees.

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