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When To Plant Thuja Green Giants

February 8, 2022 Jill Raver
Filed in: Tree Information

If you’re on the hunt for Green Giant Arborvitae for sale or just want to learn more about this fast-growing privacy tree you’ve come to the right place. The Thuja Green Giant or the Green Giant Arborvitae is a vibrant hybrid of the Japanese Thuja and Western Red Cedar. It’s one of the most popular and easy-to-grow evergreen species used as a privacy hedge today. If you want to create a natural privacy fence in your yard or garden, this is one of the most low-maintenance trees to use. You can buy the Green Giant Arborvitae here. Before you buy, it’s always good to know the facts. So, let’s explore the Green Giant Arborvitae.

Green Giant Arborvitae Facts

Growing Zones: 5 to 8
Mature Height: 40-60 feet tall
Mature Width: 10-15 feet
Soil Types: Well-drained; adaptable
Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade
Water Requirements: Drought tolerant

Benefits of Green Giant Arborvitae

thuja green giant

Growth Rate

One of the reasons that Green Giant Arborvitae are so popular is because of their superior growth rate. Once established, these hardy trees can grow up to 5 feet per year. To maximize the growth rate potential for these trees, plant them in well-drained soil and full sun. While they will still grow quite well in partial shade, planting in full sun will both stimulate growth and promote lush green foliage.

Disease Resistance

An added benefit of planting Green Giant Arborvitae is that they are naturally disease-resistant. The biggest threat to the well-being of your Green Giant is a fungal disease, but it’s important to know that proper planting techniques can minimize the risks quite significantly. Other risk factors for fungal diseases include soil type and PH. In addition, determining whether or not there is adequate soil drainage and using proper mulching practices can prevent issues.

Pest and Deer Resistance

While the Green Giant Arborvitae is a naturally pest-resistant evergreen, no tree is insect-proof. The pest problems you are most likely to see with this particular evergreen species are bagworms and scale. We suggest regularly checking your Green Giants for signs of pests. Doing so can help you get any potential problems under control before it affects the health of the entire tree. If you live in an area with a heavy deer population, Green Giant Arborvitae is a great landscaping choice. The Green Giant was bred to have superior pest-resistant qualities, and thus, it isn’t a tree that deer will typically choose to eat. Keep in mind, however, that if there aren’t other food sources available, deer will occasionally snack on them. When you are planting new trees in areas with lots of deer, consider using fencing or a deer-repellent spray to minimize any damage while they are getting established.

Adaptability & Maintenance

One of the great things about planting these highly adaptable trees is that once their roots are well-established, they are generally maintenance-free. To help your tree establish strong roots, we recommend that you water your newly planted tree every other day for the first couple of weeks. After the first few weeks, you should continue to water deeply once or twice per week for three to four months, and throughout the first summer.

Planting Green Giant Arborvitae

planting thuja green giant

How Far Apart To Plant Green Giant Arborvitae

When planting your Green Giant Arborvitae, you’ll want to space your trees between 5 to 10 feet apart to give them adequate room so they don’t grow spindly.

To plant, dig a hole twice as wide as your root ball but only slightly deeper. Remove the tree from its container and tease the roots apart gently with your fingers. Do not add evergreen fertilizer when planting. Fill the hole halfway with soil and tamp down with your foot. Then add water to remove any air pockets. Fill up the rest of the hole with soil.

You want to plant it so that only the root ball is covered and your tree is level with the ground. If you plant your tree too deeply, you risk stunting its growth. It can also cause bark deterioration at the soil level, which can eventually kill your tree. If you plant too shallow, the roots will not get properly established, resulting in stunted growth and root damage from soil erosion.

Green Giant Arborvitae Care

Here are some seasonal gardening tips that will help your Green Giant Arborvitae get off to a great start:

Spring Care Tips

  • Spring is always considered the best time to transplant your Green Giant trees from pots into the ground.
  • If you already have established Green Giants and you wish to prune them, it’s something that’s best done in the spring. A word of caution—be careful that you don’t over-prune, as this evergreen species won’t sprout new leaves from bare branches.
  • Mulching is a great practice to start when you first plant your trees in the ground. It’s best done in the spring and will help your trees retain moisture throughout the growing season. When mulching, be sure to give your trees a few inches of breathing room. You should never put mulch right up against the tree trunk, as it will make it more susceptible to fungal diseases and pest problems.
  • Applying a slow-release, high-nitrogen fertilizer in the spring will help them grow more vigorously.

Summer Care Tips

  • If you have properly planted your Green Giants in the spring, there is little to no maintenance necessary during the summer months. There is one exception to this rule: if you live in an area that is exceptionally dry or prone to periods of extended drought, you may need to do some extra watering. This is particularly true for young plants, as they need a constant intake of water to get well established.
  • If you didn’t get around to pruning your trees in the spring, summer is also a good time to do it, as long as it’s not too hot and dry. Green Giants, or any tree for that matter, will struggle more when pruned or cut back during extreme conditions of any kind.

Fall Care Tips

  • If planting your Green Giant Arborvitae wasn’t an option in the spring, fall is the next best season to do it. Young trees will get established easier when the weather is cool, rather than when it’s too hot or too cold. This makes spring and fall the most ideal times.
  • For already established trees, early to mid-fall is an excellent time to do some light pruning.
  • Giving your newly planted trees some extra water and leaf mulch in late fall, shortly before the ground freezes, is a good planting practice. Young trees don’t have deep enough roots to suck up water beyond the frost line. Therefore, getting some extra water in place will help them get through the winter dormancy phase and make them more resilient.
  • If you didn’t add fertilizer in the spring, try adding a winterizing fertilizer in the fall to make your trees more resistant to cold winter temperatures.

Winter Care Tips

If you have young Green Giant trees and live in a cold and snowy winter climate, securing a wind break of some kind will help minimize any potential wind damage throughout the winter months.

It’s always a good practice to be diligent in removing snow piles from around your young plants. Young trees are more susceptible to damage, and heavy snow piles can cause them to topple over, damaging the forming root system.

Landscaping Tips

thuja landscaping uses

The Green Giant Arborvitae is most commonly used for creating living privacy hedges and security screens. For the greatest privacy coverage, consider stagger planting them, which will give you both quick results and larger trees. We suggest staggering them in two rows, planting them about 4 to 8 feet apart diagonally.

If a privacy screen isn’t your objective, keep in mind that Green Giant Arborvitae will enhance the look of your property no matter where it’s planted. For a bold, yet surprisingly warm welcome, consider lining your driveway or the walkway that leads up to your front door. Mix in some companion varieties like the Nellie Stevens Holly or Sky Pencil Holly, and your landscape will have the added benefits of color, texture contrasts, and pest reduction.

Where To Buy Green Giant Arborvitae

If you’re looking to buy Green Giant Arborvitae for your landscaping project, you’ll want to purchase from a reputable nursery like PlantingTree. This will ensure that it was grown under the proper conditions and that you get a top-quality product. Order from our online nursery and then have it shipped to your door. PlantingTree carefully packs and ships trees so they arrive on your doorstep in good condition.

We have several Green Giant Arborvitae for sale including the Thuja Green Giant, the Thuja Baby Giant, and the Thuja Junior Giant. For a full selection of evergreens and privacy trees, be sure to browse our online plant nursery.

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