Techny Arborvitae

"Protecting your family, home, farm or business from the wind"

Techny Arborvitae ---Thuja occidentalis

The Techny Arborvitae is a clone of its parent plant the White Cedar or American Arborvitae. This special cultivar was found growing in Mission Gardens in Techny, Illinois and due to its strong characteristics has been cloned ever since and is sometimes called the Mission arborvitae. It is a medium growing (1-2ft per year) evergreen that has a dark green soft foliage. In September of each year it “sheds “ all the growth that grew out the previous year and it drops to the ground creating a very nice mulch around the tree. Its parent plant is a native to the northern US where it grows extensively and some fine, large specimens can be found on Mackinac Island on Lake Heron in Michigan.

They can grow 30+ ft tall and 15+ft wide and the spreading root system is very wind firm but the wood is not quite so strong and can be damaged by high winds, snow and ice. This tree can live100 years or longer, its parent plant can live over 500 years in the north. Age limiting factor is usually how close they are planted together as close planting and dry weather will shorten life. This tree has multiple leaders, so some damage to the top of the tree in ice and snow just lets one of the other “leaders” take over so the effect is minor in a windbreak. The foliage extends down to the ground, excellent for blocking winds. Deer will eat this foliage in the winter and severe damage and death can result with smaller plants, with larger plants all the foliage can be eaten off within 6 ft of the ground.  Deer reduction or fencing may have to be used in some areas. The Techny Arborvitae grows well in a hardiness zone from 3-7 and likes over 25" of rain per year in areas with adequate soil to hold moisture during the dry months. Does not do well in sandy soil as has a shallow root system and in droughty conditions, losses can result. Will grow well in high ph soils such as along gravel roads, in clay soils and soils with extra moisture. Should not be planted in states where hot dry summers usually occur (Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, ect.) unless extra moisture can be provided.

Disease problem are few with no fungal disease problems and few insect problems such as bag worms or spider mites in a dry hot summer.  The Techny Arborvitae has shown to be a better plant for use in windbreaks than any other arborvitaes.  We have tested then against the American, Nigra, Dark Green, Emerald Green and Green Giant arborvitaes, and the Techny always comes out on top

A 2 ft potted tree can be over 8 ft tall in 5 years in good soil, adequate moisture, and total weed and grass control.  Many places on the internet say the Techny grows slow and does not get very big (10ft)--this is untrue. Spacing--Is very important for this species, due to its shallow root system and most times are planted way to close together. When planted too close and a major drought hits, the shallow root system cannot get enough moisture for this moisture loving plant and the weakest ones die or the bottom of the plants die back causing a decrease in windbreak efficiency. Single Row-- 12-Ft apart, Double row-- 16 ft between rows and 14 ft apart between plants in row, Multiple rows--18 ft between rows and 16 ft between plants.

We highly recommend the Techny Arborvitae with certain restrictions: Proper spacing and soil conditions should be followed. They are wind resistant and we set them 12 feet apart on the outside of our 3 or more rows of trees, and at least 20 feet from any larger evergreens.


 Left Picture above: Hedge-row of Techny Arborvitaes, 25 years old.  Trimmed
back from the driveway, great one row windbreak.

Right picture above: eleven year old Techny and was started as a 2 1/2 ft potted size and is now 16 ft tall, this tree has never been watered, fertilized or trimmed.

A field of our Technys in the spring, ready to be dug and put in the cooler, we have thousands of these for sale.

We have found a problem with the long term survival of the Technys.  Above is a Techny in a pot that was not grow by us.  The problem is with multiple leaders coming out all in one place at the bottom, as the tree grows this creates a weak spot and with high winds or heavy snow this will break apart in this area.  Your tree will simply break off at the weak point, (see below) and the tree will be severely damaged or killed and most do not survive long, with the other part still standing soon breaks apart too .  It is too late to prune it at the above stage as you will have huge cuts to heal, and little foliage if trying to get to one leader.


All our Technys that we grow bare root and potted are pruned up to one stem, at the bottom after the first year, to prevent the problem of splitting apart in the future.  So no matter where you buy your Technys or any Arborvitae, be sure they are pruned at the bottom to a single leader up to about 4"-6".

One of our bare root Technys, trimmed up at the bottom to avoid splitting problems in the future. 

Our potted trees ready for sale.


Techny Arborvitae
Type Height 1-50 51+
Bare Root Transplant 12"-18" Click below for sizes and prices  
Potted 2'-3'    
Potted 3'-4'    


Bagworm can be a problem with arborvitae, and other evergreens.  Here  is a bagworm house hanging on a branch.  The fat black worm live in the bag during the day and then in the evening they come out and chew off the foliage.  If you have arborvitae or any evergreens you should walk threw your trees every year in mid June and July and check to see if you have any of these bags hanging on your trees.  If they can be caught early they are easily eliminated by hand picking them off or spaying.  To learn more about bagworms just do a search on the internet as there is much information.
Update:  In the winter of 08'-09' we got down to -38 degrees here on the farm and most of Iowa received similar temperatures.  This extreme cold killed most is not all of the bagworms in the state of Iowa, we have a few reports of them still down near the Missouri border and parts south and it looks like there back to there natural levels .  Keep a careful eye on your trees, and you should have no problems with bagworms.

To the right is a row of arborvitae that has been hit by an infestation of bagworms, this happened in just a couple of weeks.  They have eaten all the foliage off the trees and these trees are not going to survive.  If they were caught early when they first appeared they could have been easily controlled and the trees would have survived with little damage.  It usually takes several years for the population to get this large to do this kind of damage.  Early detection is the secret to controlling bagworms, walk threw your arborvitae and all evergreens during the summer, June and July,  looking for the bags as shown above.

If you are interested in this or any of our other trees then head over to our Main site.


Kelly Tree Farm, 191 Quincy Ave. Clarence IA 52216 - PH: 563-452-4300 -