Lebensbaum Thuja orientalis - care and cutting

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The Oriental Tree of Life, called Thuja orientalis (Platycladus orientalis), like all other Thujen in the family of the cypress family. His homeland is the Orient to Korea and China and further to the east of Russia. In Europe, this plant is known only since the end of the 17th century. A Thuja orientalis can thrive at heights of up to three thousand meters.
Features of Thuja orientalis
The Thuja orientalis grows in its home as an evergreen tree about 20 meters high and reaches in this height a trunk diameter of more than one meter. However, he does not reach these dimensions in our latitudes, here he is to be found at heights between five and ten meters. This Thuja species is often multi-stemmed and therefore forms a particularly broad and richly developed growth. The bark of his trunk is light gray to brownish or even reddish brown, it can also be replaced in places in stripes. Its branches are fan-shaped ramified, the individual subjects are each vertical. These branches are flat and covered by staggered scales.
Location for the Thuja
In our gardens and grounds, these trees are usually planted as hedge, although they look very decorative even as a single plant. In Asia, the wood of Thuja is used in Buddhist temples for the establishment. This thuja can grow best on a loose and not too acidic soil, as well as its relative, the Occidental Tree of Life (Thuja occidentalis). However, it occurs in our regions much less often than this and is often planted in cemeteries as a single plant. Also from the Thuja orientalis there are some relatives:

  • American Tree of Life
  • Thuja plicata
The Thuja orientalis likes a sunny to bright location and makes no greater demands on the soil and the environment. When planted in the shade, the branches develop more loosely than in a sunny location. However, she does not like soil dryness, which is why she must be watered in winter if necessary in frost-free weather. Most Thujen do not die of nutrient deficiency or heat, cold, etc., but clearly the lack of water. Especially in the first three years after planting, the soil should never completely dry out. In their natural habitat, Thujen tend to grow on swampy soil as well as dry. They often stand on the edges of rivers or lakes, which also explains their preference for a moist soil. It also hardly needs any fertilizer. Attention: Thuja is particularly poisonous on the branch tips.
The growth habit of Thuja orientalis is rather narrow and columnar with short branches and twigs. These grow close together, so the plant is very suitable as a hedge plant. In our European regions, this thuja is up to 2.50 meters high and can still be up to 1.50 meters wide. It grows slowly, which should be considered especially when pruning.
Locations where higher rainfall and a cool temperate climate occur are generally beneficial for an ideal habitat. So it is also in the homeland of Thuja, so it is not only older, but also bigger. The flat root system of the plant extends just below the surface of the earth. Soil dryness immediately becomes a problem, even if the humidity is right.
Cut and transplant Thuja orientalis
If the Thuja is to be cut back, the ideal time for it is spring. At this time, the formation of new shoots begins, so the interface then fills again faster. As long as the tips of the branches are not cut to the green, the new formation starts again. However, when cutting into old wood, it may take a long time for such a spot to re-green itself. The Thuja should therefore not be cut back too radically, but rather distributed regularly over the years.
If the Thuja orientalis needs to be trimmed in height, it should not be cut back so low that the viewer's gaze may fall from above onto the interface. Inside, the plant is not green and would therefore release the view into the bare interior.
Pests and diseases in Thujen
Although the Thuja can be described as a relatively uncomplicated garden plant, there are often diseases that have occurred more frequently, especially in recent years. This is primarily a brown discoloration of the branches, which can lead to the death of the plant. Most pests are not due to parasites but to dry phases. Too little water can destroy a complete Thuja hedge and destroy primarily young plants, but also older stocks. The traces of dryness can be recognized by brown spots, whole shoots dry up and finally kill the whole plant.Timely prevention can be steady irrigation, which is done by drip irrigation. Another point is the cold in winter, frost and icy wind. These are also dehydrating factors, conifers and the Thuja family evaporates water through the needles. If the frozen soil can not provide replenishment, the plant will dry out even in the cold.
The actual pests include the fungal diseases with:
  • Kabatina thujae
  • Didymascella thujina
Kabatina ensures that the tips of the shoots die off. Brown spikes and black spores indicate the infestation with such a fungus. Similar reactions are evoked by didymascella and in both cases the affected branches should be excised. However, these are not the only two fungi that can cause disease. In addition, the bark beetle can be mischievous in the thuja, recognizable by many small "boreholes" and the resulting brown discoloration of the plant.
Worth knowing about Thuja orientalis
  • Thuja orientalis is called the Oriental Tree of Life.
  • It can grow up to 20 meters and reach a trunk diameter of over one meter.
  • In depth, these Thujen generally have a bare trunk. At the top they spread with a crown.
  • This is oval-conical in young plants and broadly rounded or irregularly shaped in older trees.
  • The plants have a finer and more dense foliage, they are almost fitting. The leaves are very soft.
  • Leaf color is fresh green and shiny on both sides. Leaf top and bottom are indistinguishable.
  • If you rub the leaves, a slightly resinous fragrance is created.
  • Thuja orientalis grows rather slowly compared to other species and blooms from March to April, about a month earlier than other Thujen.
  • Their location should be sunny to partially shaded. At the bottom, they make no special demands.
  • Should be poured when needed, when it is very dry. Excess during casting should be avoided.
  • However, the soil should be well moist even in the depth. Before the next watering, let the soil dry well.
  • A 100 to 120 cm large Thuja orientalis is available from about 15 euros.

Video Board: Thuja occidentalis (Smaragd) Cedar Hedge - 3 years old.

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