Thuya occidentalis

Thuya occidentalis

Thuya occidentalis is a species of conifer that belongs to the Cupressaceae family that originates in North America. It is a tree with evergreen characteristics with a pyramid shape of the crown and with a maximum height of 15 meters. The bark of the branches has a fibrous consistency with a dark green color in the upper part and a yellowish color in the lower part. The cone-shaped fruits have a red-brown color. The male flowers have a red color, while the female ones are yellow-brown. The flowering of Tuhya occidentalis occurs between March and April, presenting both male and female flowers on the same plant, but in different clusters. The plant has the characteristic of containing many tannins, essential oils and flavonoids.

Cultivation of Thuya occidentalis

Thuya occidentalis is a plant that easily adapts to cold climates, with a preference for clayey and calcareous soils. Since Thuya occidentalis is particularly afraid of water stagnation, it would be advisable to plant the plants in a soil that is rich in nutrients, adequately soft and with a good depth so that the roots can develop correctly. Sand or pumice stone should be mixed with the soil to facilitate drainage. To allow the plants to grow properly, organic fertilizer or slow-release granular fertilizer should be added. Once the young specimens have been planted, it would be advisable to mulch the soil around the trunk to preserve the roots.

Thuya occidentalis care

The best location for planting Thuya occidentalis should be in full sun, although it may tolerate partial shade conditions. The soil should be kept slightly acidic. The plants could be grown in open ground or in pots. In case of cultivation in pots, they could be planted at any time of the year, although it would be preferable to do it in spring or autumn. To create an optimal hedge it would be advisable to place the plants at a distance of 1 meter from each other, in case the plants are closer together the hedge would be more dense, but problems with aeration could arise. Irrigation should be frequent in the growing season, then it should be done when the soil is dry.

Pruning and diseases of Thuya occidentalis

Excessive irrigation of the soil could cause root rot with serious consequences for the plant that could cause its death. Damage could occur on young seedlings following the attack by the Didymascella thujina fungus. To prevent these fungal diseases, it would be advisable to grow them in separate greenhouses, before they can be planted. In the case of a developed plant, fungal canker of the cypress could occur which would cause damage to the leaves. Plants could also be affected by mealybugs or the conifer spider. Pruning should take place in March, proceeding with the elimination of dead or damaged parts. To form the crown it would be advisable to shave it frequently to stimulate the growth of the branches.

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