Thuja Holmstrup, also known as Thuja occidentalis Holmstrup, is a favorite ornamental perennial of the Conifer family for many gardeners. This plant gained its popularity for a reason: the ephedra is not picky about growing conditions, and its crown has an interesting conical shape that can decorate any garden or summer cottage.
Description of Tui Holmstrup
Based on the description, thuja western Holmstrup is an evergreen plant, similar to what can be seen in the photo. Although the height of adult specimens is 3 - 4 m, with a diameter of 1 - 1.5 m, these ornamental trees are distinguished by low growth rates. To reach its maximum size, thuja Holmstrup will need at least 10 - 12 years. The average age of this plant is approaching 200 years.
Like most conifers, throughout the year thuja Holmstrup retains a dark green crown color, which is characterized by density and has a symmetrical conical shape that can persist even in the absence of regular decorative pruning. Strongly branched shoots are covered with soft scaly needles that do not fall off in winter. The root system of the plant is located in the upper layers of the soil and is compact.
Due to its excellent aesthetic qualities and simplicity in care, thuja of the Holmstrup variety is a favorite of many gardeners in the formation of exquisite landscape compositions.
The use of thuja Holmstrup in landscape design
The characteristics of thuja western Holmstrup were highly appreciated by masters of landscape design in many countries of the world. This plant is equally vivid in single and group plantings. In addition, the dark green thuja can serve as an excellent backdrop for other ornamental crops.
Thuja Holmstrup planted in a private residence is used for landscaping urban landscapes, as well as for decorating rockeries, alpine slides and lawns, as in the photo below.
A group of trees arranged in a row or forming a hedge, in turn, is perfect for creating natural fences that separate the functional areas of the garden. They are also used to mark the boundaries of the site, planting along the perimeter of the territory. Such placement, in addition to decorative, pursues another goal - air purification, since thuja Holmstrup retains exhaust and heavy metals. For the same reason, it is located near industrial buildings and highways.
Advice! To create a hedge, Holmstrup trees must be planted, keeping a distance of 50 cm between specimens.
A few more photos with examples of the use of thuja Holmstrup in landscape design:
Breeding features of western thuja Holmstrup
Another advantage of this plant is resistance to external conditions and quick survival. According to reviews, thuja Holmstrup can be bred without much effort even at home. The easiest way to do this is by grafting the plant. Some gardeners practice the propagation of thuja Holmstrup by seeds, but in this case the chance that the characteristics of the variety will remain is very low.
Although thuja Holmstrup is not a whimsical plant, to ensure healthy growth and maintain its decorative characteristics, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the basic planting rules.
The optimal time for planting thuja Holmstrup is mid-spring, when the probability of return frosts is minimal. Although this plant can boast of a fairly high frost resistance, it should not be planted in open ground until the end of April, so that the soil has time to warm up and the root system is not damaged. Dry warm autumn is also suitable for planting thuja, but in this case, the seedlings must be covered for the winter.
Important! Despite the fact that the planting of thuja Homestrup can be carried out at any age, it is best to choose young trees for this procedure, since it is easier for them to adapt to new conditions.
Site selection and soil preparation
The place for planting the western thuja Homestrup variety should also be chosen with great care. It grows especially well in sun-drenched places that are not blown through by drafts, but the culture also feels quite well in slightly shaded spaces. Too strong shade leads to the fact that the thuja needles begin to fade, and the crown loses its density. Lack of sun also affects the health of the plant: its immunity weakens, and the tree becomes more susceptible to fungal diseases.
It is advisable to select light and loose soils for thuja Holmstrup, for example, sandy loam or sod in combination with peat and sand. In dense soil, drainage from 15 to 20 cm thick should be used to prevent stagnant water and root rot.
Important! The acidic level of the soil for thuja Holmstrup should not exceed the range of 4 - 6 pH.
Planting thuja western Holmstrup is carried out, guided by the following description:
- Before planting, a soil mixture of sand, low-lying peat and leafy soil is prepared for the plant in proportions of 1: 1: 2.
- The planting pit is made slightly larger than the root part of the thuja Holstrup. Its approximate size should be 80 × 80 cm.
- It will not be superfluous to place a drainage layer of broken brick or crushed stone in the recess.
- For intensive growth, nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizing is introduced into the soil at the bottom of the planting pit.
- Before planting, the seedling is generously watered.
- If the seedling has a closed root system, that is, it has an earthen lump around the roots, it is placed in the planting place, and then sprinkled with soil mixture so that the root collar is at the surface, and the soil around the plant is compacted.
- If the young thuja has an open root system, in the center of the pit, an elevation is first prepared from the ground, and then a tree is placed on it, carefully spreading the roots. At the end of the procedure, the soil is tamped, while not filling the root collar.
After planting, the plant is abundantly saturated with water, and the soil within the trunk circle is mulched with sawdust, peat or mowed grass.
Advice! In order for the water to supply the roots more efficiently and not to spread, an earthen mound with a height of about 5 cm can be made around the trunk of the plant.
Growing and care rules
Young trees of Tui Holmstrup need periodic weeding and loosening. When carrying out these procedures, it is worth remembering that the root system of such conifers is located close to the soil surface, and therefore, when digging the soil deeper than 10 cm, it can be accidentally injured.
The rest of the care when growing these plants includes timely watering, regular feeding and pruning.
The drought resistance of the western thuja variety Holmstrup allows it to do with a small amount of water for a long time, however, a prolonged lack of liquid negatively affects the appearance of the plant. In order for thuja to please the eye all year round, it is necessary to water it at least 1 - 2 times a week, allocating 10 liters of water per 1 tree. During a drought, watering is increased to 20 liters - 3 times a week.
Along with watering, you can sprinkle the plant 1 - 2 times a week. Such a procedure will not only refresh the crown of the ephedra, but also have a beneficial effect on its growth. But it should be borne in mind that it is carried out only on healthy thujas. Trees infected with fungal infections are not recommended to be moistened in this way.
Advice! In order for the water to better approach the roots, and watering and loosening did not have to be carried out very often, the tree trunk circle of thuja can be mulched with wood chips, sawdust or peat.
Fertilize thuja Holmstrup once a year, usually in spring, in April - May. As a top dressing, universal mineral complexes for conifers are used, such as Kemira-Universal or nitroammofoska, while consuming 50-60 g of composition per 1 sq. m of territory.
Important! The plant does not need to be fed for the next 2 - 3 years if mineral fertilizers were applied to the soil during planting.
To maintain the visual appeal of thuja Holmstrup, it must be pruned from time to time. A sanitary cut to remove dry and damaged branches can be done every year after winter is over. Decorative pruning is not required so often: it is enough to trim the plant once every 2 - 3 years.
A hedge from the western thuja Holmstrup, such as in the photo above, is formed by cutting off the shoots by a third. In the future, to maintain its shape, it is leveled from 3 to 5 times a year.
Advice! In order for the trees to acquire the silhouette of a rounded cone, you can truncate the upper branches of the plants when pruning.
Preparing for winter
As plants of the third and fourth zones of frost resistance, adult specimens of thuja of the Holmstrup variety can easily tolerate even severe frosts down to -35 ° C, so they do not need shelter in central Russia.
At the same time, young trees do not have such winter hardiness, therefore, in the first couple of winters after planting, they must be protected from frost with a covering material. For this purpose, agrofibre or burlap is useful, with which the crown of plants is wrapped, leaving a small space between the material and the needles for air circulation. Additionally, you can mulch the tree trunk circle of thuja with spruce branches: this will save it from waterlogging during snow melting and will protect it from rodents.
With the arrival of spring, as soon as the snow melts and the frost ends, the shelter from the thuja Holmstrup is removed. They do it in cloudy weather, and not right away. First, the agrofibre is raised by 1/3 and the plant is left in this form for 5-7 days to adapt. After the specified time, the protective material is removed completely.
Pests and diseases
Although thuja Holmstrup is resistant to most diseases, sometimes it is attacked by certain insects that damage the needles of the plant. These include thuja aphids and false scale insects.
Due to their activity, the crown of the tree acquires a yellowish tint and falls off. Various insecticides have proven themselves well against these pests, with which it is necessary to treat the plant twice, maintaining an interval of 7 to 10 days between procedures.
Often, the larvae of May beetles attack the root system of young trees of thuja Kholstrup. Having found this insect on the site, do not underestimate the danger that it can bring: even one larva of the May beetle can destroy an ephedra seedling in 24 hours. You can save plants from this scourge by watering it with a solution based on Imidacloprid.
As for diseases, with proper care, they do not threaten Holmstrup thuja trees. However, if the irrigation schedule has been violated, the thuyu varieties of Holmstrup can be affected by fungi, due to which the branches of the plant will begin to dry out. Regular watering and three to four times treatment of trees with compounds containing copper will help to correct the situation. Such treatments are carried out every 2 weeks until the state of thuja Holmstrup returns to normal.
Thuja Holmstrup definitely deserves the attention that landscape designers and plant breeders give her. It is beautiful, compact and looks very impressive in a variety of plant compositions. And most importantly, even novice gardeners can grow it on their site.
Netyazhina Albina Romanovna, 47 years old, St. Petersburg
I love thuja very much, and recently I began to grow a couple of trees of the Holmstrup variety. For two seasons, they got accustomed well. They hibernate surprisingly well, although I'm afraid to leave them without shelter for now. The first year there was a problem, because the sun after winter burned a little delicate thuja at the ends of the branches. Now I cover in the spring until the plants completely come out of hibernation.
Frantskevich Natalia Egorovna, 30 years old, Tyumen
Three years ago I bought the seedlings Smaragd and Holmstrup in the nursery: and I never cease to wonder how different they are, although, it seems, both varieties belong to thujas. Holmstrup grows much more slowly. Smaragd, on the other hand, does not fade in the sun in summer at all, and he does not care about frosts. Holmstrup is an excellent variety of thuja, and keeps its shape well, only the color is for an amateur, gloomy.