Thuja and other conifers should be protected in spring, when the sun starts to warm up. Protection is especially important for young plants.
Have you ever witnessed Tuija drying up? A green and fertile conifer may unexpectedly look brown and stunted. The CEO of the Garden Association Timo Taulavuoren according to this, this happens easily if you forget to protect Tuija from the scorching spring sun.
Drying occurs when the leaves of the coniferous plant wake up in the heat of the sun for the growing season and the plant starts to need water. However, the roots are in icy ground, from which no moisture is released at all.
“The trunk and leaves are waking up, but the root system is hibernating. The cone dies during the spring and the plant turns completely brown. Tuija dies standing up, so to speak,” says Taulavuori.
Protection of conifers and other conifers is important, especially during the first three years of the plant’s life, when the plant has not yet taken root properly. In a sunny location, protection is especially important, while in a really shady location, protection is not necessarily needed at all.
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Tuija protection with a shading net
Thujas and other conifers should be protected during March, when the sun clearly starts to warm up. However, it is important to remember to remove the protection after closing the ground in May, so that the plant’s growth is not disturbed.
A shading net or burlap is suitable for protection, which shades the plant, but does not warm it. For example, white gauze is a bad choice because it heats up the plant.
“The fabric must be thin enough. Tight fabric raises the temperature, so the plant needs even more water. So it only worsens the situation,” Taulavuori says.
The fabric is wrapped around Tuija with string or old belts. Garden stores also sell hoods for the protection of peepers, which are conveniently slipped over the plant.
Watering melts the roots of Thuja
You can also help Tuija through the sunny spring winter by helping to thaw the earth. Pour a large watering can of lukewarm water on the roots of the plant. The water melts the soil and the rhizome of the plant can drink water.
Watering should be repeated daily, because at night the weather can freeze again and the ground freezes again.
“The shade net is therefore a more carefree solution than watering every day.”
Drying can be prevented with a cover
Freezing of the root system can be prevented in autumn and winter by spreading mulch or garden waste collected during the summer on the roots of the plant. It is recommended to spread the mulch over an area wider than the width of the plant. For Tuija, for example, it would be good to place the cover about half a meter from the plant’s base.
Mulch or garden waste is also beneficial for the plant in the long term, because when it settles, it increases the soil’s humus content.
Partially dried Tuija can still recover
If the thuja is brown at the end of May, it is very likely dead. If only part of the thuja has had time to turn brown, the plant may still recover. Permanently browned branches can be cut off, allowing new growth to cover the old.
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Source: Puutarha – Kotiliesi.fi by kotiliesi.fi.
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