Are Green Giant Arborvitae Safe To Plant Now?

Q: My landscaper is installing some Green Giant arborvitae. Is it safe to plant them now? 

A: I think they would be fine to plant now through December. Quiz the installer to make sure he is giving the Green Giants a wide area in which to spread their roots, not a small hole slightly bigger than the root ball. I have seen many arborvitae shrubs suffering from drought this year. My preference would be to loosen an area eight inches deep and six feet in diameter for each one and put the shrub in the center. If the arborvitae have been growing in pots, it is imperative that the roots be untangled before planting so they spread out in all directions. None should be allowed to circle close to the trunk. It would be best if you were present for the entire process make sure things are done correctly. After planting, watering correctly is paramount. It is hard to guess what the weather will be but my recommendation is to give each shrub 5-10 gallons of water every week for the next six months. Your goal should be to keep the soil moist, not soggy nor dry.