Thuja Green Giant
New Evergreen Bred for Instant Privacy
The Thuja Green Giant is a rare hybrid, designed to be the fastest growing evergreen. It was the hands-down winner in the Tree Category of the coveted 2007 Georgia Gold Medal Award, after receiving stellar reviews from a rigorous three-year evaluation and field testing process.
Recommended by nursery and landscape professionals, horticulturists, university professors and cooperative extension staff, Thuja Green Giant is an award-winning gem you can plant with confidence in your landscape.
• Evergreen - dense, dark-green foliage that grows to ground level
• Fast-growing - quickly forms a hedge or screen
• Disease- and deer-resistant - just plant it and let it grow!
Although Thuja Green Giant rises quickly to meet a myriad of landscaping goals, its versatility is also matched by its ease of care. This is a tree that keeps its balanced shape without requiring pruning, and it doesn't need a spray regimen to keep it disease-free. Deer leave it alone, so you won't have to worry about having a ragged tree caused by hungry browsers.
Evergreen trees vary widely in their form, growth habit, foliage shape and color. Thuja Green Giant is an arborvitae that naturally grows in a pyramidal shape, wider at the base than at the top. Branches are fern-shaped, with flat scale-like leaves, and the soft foliage is richly colored in dark-green. Thuja Green Giant is one of the fastest-growing evergreens. Healthy trees have an exceptional growth rate of three feet (or more) each year.
The Perfect Privacy Hedge
Thuja Green Giant is the ultimate plant for a tall privacy hedge. Not only does this tree have a phenomenal growth rate, its foliage grows so thickly that you can't see through the branches. And because the branches grow all the way to the ground without having the open base that other evergreens have, you'll enjoy your yard or garden in complete privacy away from the prying eyes of your neighbors or traffic from a busy street. Plant a single row of trees, or install a double-staggered row as an extra buffer.
Municipal codes and HOA by-laws prohibit construction of fencing over a certain height. But if you plant Thuja Green Giant along your property lines, this "living fence" will exceed the restricted height of constructed fencing. A one-time purchase of Thuja Green Giant trees to form a living fence far outlasts the cost of building a wooden privacy fence, which eventually has to be repaired and/or replaced.
You may not need a solid privacy hedge or living fence to outline your property boundaries, but you can also use Thuja Green Giant to block the view of an unsightly object in or outside of your yard. You can plant only one tree, or just a few trees, to grow a "green screen" that hides an unattractive home, business or landscape beyond the confines of your yard.
Protection from winter winds minimizes soil erosion and lowers your heating costs. The height and density of the plants you install are key considerations for effective windbreaks. Thuja Green Giant covers both these bases with a height that can reach 60 feet and thick ground-to-top foliage. Plant a row of trees at a 45-degree angle to the prevailing wind direction for optimal protection.
Some yards are too small to accommodate the large size of multiple Thuja Green Giant trees. An option is to plant a single tree as a specimen plant, placing it slightly off-center to the front of your home. Its geometric shape in the form of a pyramid nicely contrasts with other landscape plants, and it makes a perfect living holiday tree you can feature in winter. If you string holiday lights throughout the tree, you won't be pierced by sharp needles because Thuja Green Giant has soft foliage.
Plant a Thuja Green Giant tree and you'll be installing a wildlife habitat in your yard. Its dense evergreen cover offers nesting sites for birds in spring and summer and protection from the elements in fall and winter. The long-skirted foliage even shields ground-roosting birds. In winter, hang suet feeders from the boughs for the birds and have binoculars handy to watch them as they eat.
You'll always have plenty of greenery for handmade holiday decorations when you grow Thuja Green Giant. The fragrant evergreen foliage can be snipped as small sprigs for table decorations or cut as small boughs to make living wreaths, garlands or swags.
• Drought. After their first year of establishment, Thuja Green Giant evergreen trees are drought-tolerant. Although they prosper in slightly moist soil, healthy root systems can withstand short periods of drought.
• Heat. This durable tree stands up to heat and humidity with no ill effects, and its foliage can handle full sun without being scorched.
• Different soils. Thuja Green Giant is adapted to a wide range of soil types -- sand, loam or clay.
Many evergreens, including cypress and other arborvitae species, are prone to debilitating fungal diseases, but Thuja Green Giant is resistant to the pathogens that cause these problems. It's also not bothered by any significant insect problems. Even deer pass by this tree without stopping to graze, which is a big plus if you live in a rural area.
When to Plant
You can plant Thuja Green Giant trees any time of year. If you plant during the heat of summer, keep trees well-watered to help ease their transition into your landscape. Apply a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch to conserve moisture and keep the soil temperature cooler so the newly developing root system doesn't become overheated.
How to Plant
You'll receive healthy, well-rooted trees from our nursery, but their ongoing health will be directly influenced by your proper planting techniques. With a lifespan typically exceeding 50 years, the small investment of time to plant each Thuja Green Giant is worth a lifetime of enjoyment.
Where to Plant
Thuja Green Giant arborvitate trees grow as perennials in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Plant them in full sun (at least 6 hours per day) or in partial shade. If they receive too much shade, they won't grow as quickly or as thickly as when they're planted in full sun. Although they're not fussy about soil type, and they prosper in moist soil, they don't like "wet feet" -- roots that remain in soggy or waterlogged soil. The planting site must drain well. Look around and overhead, considering that these trees attain heights of up to 60 feet with spreads of up to 20 feet. You don't want to plant this tree where its mature size will interfere with overhead power lines, other landscape plants, fences or buildings. If you have underground utility lines, call a locate service to mark the ground above the buried cables before you dig.
Preparing the Site
Remove any turfgrass and weeds before planting Thuja Green Giant trees. Clear debris, such as rocks and downed limbs or twigs, and loosen the soil by tilling or spading. It's better to add organic matter to an entire planting area, which encourages new roots to grow outward, instead of amending individual planting holes, which causes roots to stay comfortably within the confines of the hole. If the root system doesn't grow outward to anchor Thuja Green Giant, it can't support the growth rate and mature size of the tree. If the soil is poor or compacted, apply a 2-inch layer of well-aged animal manure or compost over the planting site, and till or spade it in to a depth of 6 inches.
Planting Hole Depth and Width
Planting trees too deeply is a common problem with serious consequences. Dig a hole only as deep as the height of the root ball in the container, but at least twice as wide (four to six times wider is preferable). The root ball should be placed in the planting hole so the level of the container soil is on grade with the soil around the hole. If you loosen the soil in the planting hole deeper than this, after you water your tree, the soil beneath it will settle, causing the tree to sink. Backfill the hole with the soil you removed, and very lightly tamp to firm the soil around the roots.
Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around each tree, pulling it away from the base of the tree several inches from the trunk in all directions. Use pine needles, shredded bark, wood chips or bark nuggets.
Unless you plant Thuja Green Giants on a windy site, or during a particularly windy time of year, you won't have to stake most small trees after planting. But if you do need to stabilize young trees, tie them loosely with a soft and flexible material to single stakes that are driven into the ground outside the root zone of the trees.
Immediately after planting your Thuja Green Giant, water it slowly and thoroughly to allow the soil to settle and to eliminate large air pockets. Continue to water it every few days for the first few weeks if it doesn't rain, thoroughly moistening the root ball. Thereafter, water it deeply to saturate the root ball once a week unless the site receives 1 inch of rain.
Thuja Green Giant is a large tree at maturity. Resist the urge to space younger (much smaller) trees too closely, because this practice can invite diseases to take hold, even though this is typically a disease-resistant tree. Plant Thuja Green Giant trees 12-15 feet apart. With a mature 20+-foot spread, there will be ample overlap to form a solid privacy hedge.
After their first year of establishment, Thuja Green Giant trees typically receive adequate irrigation from natural rainfall (averaging 1 inch per week). However, during periods of inadequate rainfall, the trees can become drought-stressed. Water them deeply every 7 to 10 days during dry weather.
You won't need to fertilize your Thuja Green Giant when you plant it. Confirm the need for fertilization by having your local Cooperative Extension Office perform a soil test. In the absence of a soil test, wait until the following year after planting, and fertilize each year -- once in late winter (before growth begins in spring) and again in midsummer -- with 16-4-8 fertilizer, following all label recommendations.
One of the primary reasons Thuja Green Giant is a minimal-maintenance tree is because it never has to be pruned. It grows naturally into a pyramidal (conical) form without needing to be shaped. Periodically, you may need to cut out broken or dead branches to keep Thuja Green Giant looking its best. Prune in late winter before its active growing season begins.
Thuja Green Giant was brought to the United States in 1967 as a single plant from Denmark -- a hybrid produced by crossing Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) and Japanese Arborvitae (Thuja standishii). This hybrid tree was planted at the U.S. National Arboretum, where it was observed to have exceptional landscape merits. Horticulturists propagated it and taxonomists appropriately named this cultivar ‘Green Giant.'
• As a member of the Cypress plant family (Cupressaceae), Thuja Green Giant shares characteristics with other plant family relatives, such as flattened branches and evergreen, scale-like leaves.
• Thuja Green Giant's parentage includes an arborvitae tree, which is a plant family relative of a North American native arborvitae. In the 1500s, French explorers took one of these native trees to Paris -- the first North American tree to be introduced in Europe. After a tea from the bark and leaves prevented scurvy on sea voyages, the tree was named "arborvitae," which means "tree of life" in Latin.
• Clemson Cooperative Extension includes Thuja Green Giant on its list of "Trees of Strength."