Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 26 — Techny and Technito Arborvitae

Technito arborvitae

Even at its maximum size, Technito arborvitae (right) stays small. (Photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries Inc.)

It’s happened to many gardeners and homeowners. You plant a trio of cute little shrubs in front of your house. Three years later, you’re hacking your way through the brush to get to the door. What happened? Nothing. You’re shrubs just grew to their intended size, and like children that go from pint-sized to six-footers in a flash, it seems to happen overnight.

When planning a landscape one of the most important considerations is the mature size of the shrubs, trees and perennials. Shrubs especially can get out of hand with unsightly results. Choosing the right-sized plant from the outset will save time and labor later.

techny closeup

The color and shape of Techny’s foliage is striking in the landscape. (Photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries Inc.)

Depending on the situation, First Editions® Techny™ and Technito™ arborvitae can be great plants for northern gardens. These evergreen shrubs add year-round interest and texture to hedges, foundation plantings and mixed borders. Both plants were developed by the local firm, Bailey Nurseries Inc., and Technito is a smaller version of Techny arborvitae.

Hardy to USDA Zone 3, Techny arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Techny’) can grow 15 to 20 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. It is more resistant to winter burn and browning than other evergreens and is sometimes used to shield tender plants. While slow growing, planting a row of Techny arborvitae can make a nice privacy hedge in a few years. It handles pruning well, especially if done in spring.

Technito (Thuja occidentalis ‘BailJohn’ ) was discovered growing in a field of Techny arborvitae. Unlike its taller relative, Technito will grow only 6 feet tall, making it a delightful evergreen choice for smaller yards or spaces.  While it will never overwhelm a garden bed, Technito provides structure and year-round color, making it a great statement plant for diminutive yards. It has dense foliage cover and maintains its dark green color throughout the winter.

What are your favorite evergreens?