Recently removed "dwarf" arborvitae that grew to nearly 12' with pruning. Looking for planting/tree for front of house - north facing, full sun exposure. Soil is typical SE Michigan (sand) with 6" topsoil dressing. Have irrigation to mist planting as needed. Dwarf planting went well above front porch lights and grew onto front porch. If any additional details needed, please let us know. Your suggestion(s) are appreciated. Thanks, Pat & Lynn
Hello Pat and Lynn,
If you want evergreen plants, you will want to choose ones that are designated slow growing, dwarf or miniature.
Here is a presentation that demonstrates dwarf vs. typical sized evergreens.
A small sample of slow growing evergreens rated as dwarf are-
Taxus cuspidata 'Emerald Spreader', there are many spreading yews that stay low.
Chamaecyparis Pisifera Filifera‘Mops’
Chamaecyparis Obtusa Nana
Ilex Glabra, Inkberry holly
Pinus strobus ‘Minuta’ or ‘Nana’
Juniperus horizontalis, any of the creeping or rug type junipers.
Arborvitae, ‘Hetz Midget’, or ‘Mr Bowling Ball’
Picea abies, some spruce are dwarf forms such as ‘Little Gem’
Local nursery websites sometimes have plant databases you can search by height, spread, sun exposure and shrub type. This will show you many choices.
You indicated there is 6 inches of topsoil added to your native soil. A layer of different soil on top of another type is not good, as it forms a barrier to water filtration at the boundary. You can either remove this top soil and replace with native sandy soil, or thoroughly rototill the top soil into the sandy soil at a depth of 6-12 inches before planting.
Some of these plants prefer an acidic soil. Before purchasing, have a soil test of the native sandy soil or after mixing it with the top soil.
New transplants will need more water than misting. They need regular watering to a depth of 6 inches or more for the first 2-3 years. A soaker hose or emitter system would work well, directing water at the root zone without wetting the foliage.
If you need different plants please write again, there are many choices. We also have instructions on correct planting and care, if needed.
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