Thuja western Danica - an easy-care and attractive conifer
Everyone wants to spend a minimum of time caring for the garden, but at the same time, to keep it beautiful and to cause admiration for everyone around. To realize this dream, there is a solution - give preference to the most slowly growing varieties of evergreen conifers. Thuja Danica is considered one of the best.
Thuja western Danica - an easy-care and attractive conifer
- Color : dark green.
- Height : up to 80 cm.
- Crown width : up to 100 cm.
- In which regions it grows : throughout the territory of the Russian Federation, except for the Far North.
- Features of planting : in the sun, in group compositions - at a distance of at least 50 cm from neighboring plants.
- Immunity : to fungal diseases with proper agricultural practices.
- Life expectancy : up to 200 years.
Thuja western Danica was bred in 1948 by Danish breeders and named after Denmark; it is firmly included in the set of fail-safe landscape design tools.
A small unpretentious bush will not take up much space on the site, but will make it sophisticated and stylish without a lot of time and effort.
Evergreen conifer, characterized by slow growth and natural spherical shape. The growth rate is not more than 4-5 cm per year.
By the age of 15, it reaches the parameters declared by the breeders, after which it can live up to 150-200 years in an unchanged state.
- dense shiny crown;
- vertically directed short branches;
- needles are small, soft;
- compact size.
Danica rarely blooms, buds are very small (up to 0.6 cm), rounded, brown. They do not spoil the decorativeness of the thuja.
Danica is represented by two types:
- traditional (Thuja occidentalis Danica);
- gold (Thuja Aurea Danica).
This conifer is distinguished by a dark green color, acquires a bronze hue by winter. In spring, when the temperature rises, it returns to its original color.
Young plants look somewhat disheveled, fluffy: juvenile needles grow in different directions.
Over time, the needles turn into flakes that fit snugly in the branch. Crohn looks uniform, dense, shiny.
The shape becomes spherical, its dimensions:
- up to 100 cm wide;
- up to 80 cm in height.
The plant will decorate your site
Thuja Danica Aurea is even smaller:
- maximum height - no more than 80 cm;
- width - up to 90 cm.
The needles are very spectacular golden green in which yellow shades appear with a winter cooling.
In the sun, Danica Aurea is dominated by yellow tones, in the shade of green.
The advantage of this species is its high winter hardiness - up to -30 °. However, the golden thuja does not withstand spring rays at all, it requires shelter from sunburn.
Homeland thuja western - Eastern regions of North America and Canada. The tree has good frost resistance and can grow in any region of Russia, except the Far North.
Danica is a variety that inherits resistance to frost and drought from its parents.
Danica belongs to unpretentious plants, but there are mandatory operations, without which it will not be able to reach its potential.
Selection of planting material
It is safest to buy seedlings in specialized nurseries:
- the likelihood of acquiring a re-grader is reduced to zero;
- constant monitoring of high-level specialists ensures high quality of planting material;
- the opportunity to receive professional advice on planting and caring for acquired trees.
Of the two options - with an open root system or with a closed one - it is better to choose seedlings in a container. The survival rate is almost 100%.
The price of Danica depends on:
- heights (the price increases every 10 cm, so the thuja grows very slowly);
- time of purchase (it is best to plant in the spring, so in the fall seedlings are cheaper);
- varieties (the Golden variety is more expensive than the traditional one, because it is more effective in appearance and is more resistant to frost);
- place of purchase (in southern and western regions the cost is less than in Siberia and the Far East).
Prices in nurseries of Central Russia:
|Thuja height (cm)||Price, rub.)|
Preparing the landing site
Sapling must be planted in a calm place
Culture is demanding of the sun. The variety belongs to the shade-tolerant, but with a lack of lighting, the crown becomes loose, "shaggy."
Danica Aurea is particularly affected in partial shade - she loses her golden hue (turns very pale).
The soil is preferable to choose fertile, loamy, with an acidity index of 5 to 7.
Thuja does not tolerate long and strong winds, so it is important to provide for the protection of the site from drafts.
Roots - superficial, fibrous, adjacent trees with a powerful root system will oppress it, inhibiting growth and development.
Humidity is important, but the plant is better able to survive short-term drought than constant waterlogging. Therefore, the landing site must be chosen without a close approach of groundwater.
Thuja is planted in early spring or autumn, a month before the onset of constant frost. It is preferable to carry out the procedure in the spring, during the summer period the tree will get stronger and better take root.
If the seedling is in the container, then the planting time can be any, it is important to have time to do this before the cold snap.
A landing pit is prepared per day so that the earth has time to settle. In size, it is made 10 cm larger than a coma seedling.
At the bottom of the hole is placed a 20 cm layer of drainage:
- broken brick;
- expanded clay (coarse fraction);
The pit is filled 1/3 with fertile light soil of the following composition:
- 2 parts of leaf or garden land;
- 1 part of sand;
- 1 part peat;
- 2 tablespoons of complete complex fertilizer.
Plants with an open root system before planting for 40-60 minutes are soaked in a solution of any root-forming agent, after which they gently straighten the roots in the pit and cover them with the remaining soil.
Plants with a closed root system are planted by transshipment, trying not to damage the earthen lump.
Important! The root neck should be at ground level.
Watering a seedling during planting is necessary in 2-3 doses, constantly compacting the soil after watering to remove air voids.
Caring for Danica will not be difficult and will not take much time. It consists of standard operations, which are the strength of the most inexperienced or busy gardeners.
Moderate watering leads to a juicy and shiny color of needles. However, excessive and prolonged humidity can lead to root decay.
The procedure is carried out only after the surface layer has dried. Humidification should be plentiful: at least 8 to 10 liters of water are needed for such a small plant.
Thuja is demanding on the quality of irrigation
In the heat of the thuja, sprinkling is necessary, because strong evaporation occurs through coniferous plates.
Proper watering (2 times a week - in the heat and 1 time per week - at a moderate temperature) will lead not only to improve the appearance of Danica, but also to increase the evaporation of essential oils, refreshing the air on the site.
Evergreen conifers do not require constant top dressing and do not tolerate excess organics at all.
If mineral fertilizers were introduced during planting, then during the next 2 years, thaw will not be fertilized.
Starting from the age of 3, special products containing a reduced percentage of nitrogen are added.
Note! Excess nitrogen adversely affects the decorative properties of thuja, makes the needles friable due to excessive growth of shoots.
Mulching and loosening the soil
Weeds take food from the root system, serve as a hotbed of pathogenic fungi and pests, so their removal is a mandatory operation when caring for Danica.
During this, it is advisable to carry out loosening of the soil to ensure air access to the roots. However, this procedure should be done with caution, not going deeper than 10 cm, so as not to damage the surface roots.
The process of removing weeds and loosening become less laborious if you do the mulching of the trunk circle.
For ornamental plants, a coating is used from a special water- and breathable geotextile that prevents the germination of weeds.
Top mulch bark, pebbles or wood chips. The soil under such shelter remains moist and loose.
Thanks to the natural spherical crown, Danica does not need a shaping haircut, unless garden figures are planned to be made from it.
Earlier than 3 years of age, this operation is not performed, otherwise it can weaken the plant. Usually no more than 1/3 of the length of a branch is removed.
It is advisable to carry out a sanitary haircut regularly, in the spring, when the snow melts.
In the course of getting rid of:
- gray-brown diseased shoots;
- damaged branches;
- stems broken or growing in the wrong direction.
The operation is carried out with a sharp disinfected instrument.
Danica is a frost-resistant variety, but before wintering it is recommended to cover the bush with spruce branches or build a special frame on which to stretch the burlap.
This is done in order to:
- preventing crushing of the crown by fallen snow;
- sunburn protection.
On top of the shelter, it is better to throw a layer of snow to protect plants from severe frosts.
Variety Danica can only be propagated by cuttings
It is impossible to propagate by seeds - they are barren. This variety is propagated only by cuttings cut in a special way - “with a heel” (part of the main stem with a sleeping bud) from the mother plant.
The stem 5 cm from the base is cleaned of needles and put for several hours in a root solution.
Then placed in loose moist soil, consisting in equal parts of peat, sheet land and sand.
A cropped plastic bottle is put on top to maintain constant moisture. To prevent decay, planting is regularly ventilated. After 3 weeks, it can be removed.
Diseases and Pests
Thuja belongs to those plants that treat themselves. The allocated phytoncides prevent the development of pathogenic microflora and fungi, however, inaccuracies in care can provoke diseases.
With a lack of moisture, a spider mite and aphids develop. At an early stage, regular sprinkling is sufficient; with a large volume of pests, insecticides must be used.
With excess moisture, brown mold and various rot caused by fungi can be affected. In this case, you need to treat the plant with fungicides and arrange for it a little drought.
Use in landscape design
Danica looks advantageous in a composition with colon-shaped or ovoid conifers creating a balanced triangle according to the rules of the “golden section”.
This spherical thuja perfectly combines with ground cover and creeping flowering perennials, roses, acting as a solo plant.
Tuyu is used as a low dense border near the tracks or along the boundaries of the zones within the site.
Low-growth unpretentious annuals:
- Lobelia, planted in an array around the plant or around the perimeter of its trunk circle, will favorably shade the shiny needles and emphasize the exquisite form of thuja.
Gardeners note the unpretentiousness and minimal care for the plant: Danica does not need a haircut, constant feeding and processing.
Owners of small gardens can create finished compositions in a different style using thuja.
Many people like that the tree grows beautifully in containers that can be rearranged into the place of the garden, as well as taken out on loggias and balconies.
As a virtue, gardeners emit easy survival of thuja during transplantation.
Landscapers note the possibility of cutting plants, realizing beautiful and unusual shapes.
The overwhelming majority consider high prices and long term growing from cuttings to be a disadvantage.