Holmstrup Arborvitae Growth Rate, Pruning, Spacing

Holmstrup Arborvitae is a thick multi-stemmed deciduous shrub that grows narrowly upright and columnar. Its fine texture distinguishes it from other landscape plants with coarser foliage.

This delicate shrub needs frequent care and maintenance. When pruning is required, only the current season's new growth should be pruned, with the exception of any dieback. It does not have any significant drawbacks.

The foliage of the Holmstrup Arborvitae is forest green in the winter and light green in the spring. Throughout the winter, the scale-like leaves stay forest green. Neither the flowers nor the fruit have any decorative value.

Holmstrup Arborvitae Growth Rate

Holmstrup Arborvitae will reach a height of around 7 feet and a spread of 3 feet at maturity. It tends to fill out down to the soil, so it doesn't need facer plants in front, and it's good for planting under transmission lines. It has a modest growth rate and can expect to live for about 30 years under optimal conditions.

The ideal conditions for this shrub are the full sun to light shade. It enjoys average to wet growing conditions and should not be allowed to dry out. It is not picky about the type of soil or the pH. It tolerates urban pollutants to some extent and will benefit from being planted in a relatively shaded site. In exposed sites or colder microclimates, consider putting a thick mulch around the root zone in the winter to protect it. 

Holmstrup Arborvitae Growth Rate, Pruning, Spacing

Holmstrup Arborvitae Pruning

The optimal time to prune your arborvitae is dependent on your objectives. Are you attempting to shrink its overall size? Is it your objective to keep that ideal pyramid shape? Do you want to get rid of some overgrowth or do you want to go all the way down to the ground? Knowing your goal helps you choose the optimal time to prune.

To prune your arborvitae, trim new shoots at their junctions. Keep cutting greenwood. Make a small scratch in the bark with your fingertip and examine the colour underneath before cutting. Avoid pruning beyond the green needles. This is the most serious error you can make.

Holmstrup Arborvitae Spacing

If you want to use Arborvitae trees for privacy, space them about 2-3 feet apart. Plant them around 2 feet apart if you want more privacy right away. Arborvitae trees that are emerald green in colour often reach a width of 3-4 feet.


What is the difference between Holmstrup arborvitae vs. Emerald green?

Holmstrup arborvitae grows at a slower rate than other types, gaining around a foot in height each year. When fully grown, this arborvitae with its pyramidal structure is smaller than other types. Due to its more compact dimensions, it is an excellent alternative for regions with limited space.

American Arborvitae, often known as emerald green arborvitae, has brilliant foliage that stands out throughout the year. This variety is a semi-dwarf with a slower growth rate. It is important to note that, unlike the Holmstrup arborvitae, this emerald green arborvitae is derived from a species of western red cedar rather than eastern arborvitae.

How to plant Holmstrup arborvitae?

  • Dig a planting hole that is two to three times the width and depth of the root ball.
  • Remove some of the roots from the root ball.
  • Place the arborvitae in the hole so that the root ball's top edge is aligned with the hole's top.
  • Backfill the area around the root ball with soil, pressing it down with your hands.
  • Soak the soil in the hole after you've filled it up to 12 inches.
  • Fill the root ball all the way to the top.
  • Thoroughly irrigate the soil.
  • To conserve moisture, surround the arborvitae with a 2-inch layer of ancient shredded wood mulch or pine straw. 
  • Avoid direct contact with the stem during mulching.

How far apart should you plant Holmstrup arborvitae?

For a solid row with no gaps, space them about 2 1/2 to 3 feet apart. Increase the spacing between specimens to 4 to 5 feet apart for a clean break.

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