Green Giant Arborvitae

Thuja standishii x plicata ‘Green Giant’

A popular, deer-resistant alternative to the common Emerald Green Arborvitae, (Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’), Green Giant (Thuja plicata x standishii) is a much larger tree requiring much more space if left to grow in its natural form. For larger and drier gardens, Green Giant Arborvitae may be a better choice than Emerald Greens due to its superb drought tolerance. Additionally, Green Giants typically have only one leader which enables them to take snow loads without splaying.

I planted 4 Green Giants in 2021, 3 of which were only about 3 – 4′ tall. One stood taller and much more open, and I had a slight concern that it was actually a mislabelled Thuja plicata. Three years on, the smaller specimens have caught up with the taller ones. All of them are shooting up quickly. As of this update in 2023, I suspect these trees will start to provide decent screening by the end of this year’s growing season.

Companion Plants for Green Giant Arborvitae

It is recommended to plant a mixed border instead of a straight line of Green Giants (or any other tree for that matter) as insurance against future pests and diseases that may wipe out an entire screen of the same plant (thus ruining your privacy). Our south easement mix includes Green Giants, Incense Cedar, Blue Alaska Cedar, and Spring Grove Arborvitae.

    Nursery Tag

    Grows to a height of 50–60' and a spread of 12–20' at maturity. height increases of more than 24" per year. Hardiness Zones 5–8.

    Gardener's Log

    01/2021: Planted 4 specimens roughly around the same time in early 2021

    Photo taken July 2021

    Two Green Giant arborvitae after 3 years in the ground

    Photo taken May 2023

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