Great Plant Pick: Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’

The “Degroot’s Spire” conifer, of intermediate size, is a popular choice for hedging and screening a yard. (Richie Steffen)

The “Degroot’s Spire” conifer, of intermediate size, is a popular choice for hedging and screening a yard. (Richie Steffen)

What: An exceptional selection of the eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis “Degroot’s Spire” is very popular because of its narrow, columnar form with dense green foliage that sometimes twists and layers over itself. This conifer, of intermediate size, is often used for hedging, screening or as a single specimen.

Size: This narrow conifer can grow to be 20 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

Where: The compact columnar arborvitae thrives in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil. Set hedge plants 18 to 24 inches from center to center, depending on how large the plants are initially. When planting “b&b” (balled and burlapped) cedars, be sure to cut the burlap and twine away from the trunk once the root ball has been positioned in the planting hole.

Water: “Degroot’s Spire” needs summer watering for the first few seasons. Do not allow a newly planted cedar to dry out completely, as it may drop foliage and become bare and unattractive. A soaker hose and mulch are ideal for a new cedar hedge. Once established, cedars are drought tolerant.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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