Arborvitae, Green Giant Thuja standishii x plicata 'Green Giant'
The 'Green Giant' arborvitae is a large, vigorous, fast growing evergreen. Its natural pyramidal to conical form boasts dense, rich green foliage that darkens or bronzes only a little in the winter. This is an exceptional landscape tree for use as a screen, hedge, windbreak or single specimen. It is tolerant of a wide variety of soils but prefers moist, well-drained soil and sun to partial shade. It is wind-resistant once established and withstands heavy ice or snow loads. Under good growing conditions, it can grow up to 3' a year to a height of 50'-60' with a 12'-20' spread. Plant 5'-6' apart for very fast screen, otherwise 10'-15' apart. (zones 5-7)Pricing Information
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Hardiness Zones 5 - 7The Green Giant Arborvitae can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Type of treeEvergreens
Mature HeightThe Green Giant Arborvitae grows to be 50' - 60' feet in height.
Mature SpreadThe Green Giant Arborvitae has a spread of about 12' - 20' at full maturity.
SunThis arborvitae does well in full sun, partial shade.
Green Giant arborvitae tolerates a wide range of soil textures. Poorly drained sites should be avoided. It is very salt-sensitive.
ShapeThis arborvitae has pyramidal, conical shape.
The 'Green Giant' arborvitae is a large, vigorous, fast growing evergreen. It has a naturally pyramidal to conical form and dense, rich green foliage that darkens or bronzes only a little in the winter. This is an excellent landscape tree for screening views, noise and wind or as an ornamental specimen. It tolerates a wide variety of soils but prefers moist, well-drained soil and sun to partial shade. It is wind-resistant once established, withstands heavy ice or snow loads, has no serious pest or disease problems and shows better resistance than most arborvitae to browsing by deer. Under good growing conditions, 'Green Giant' can grow up to 3' a year to a height of 50'-60' with a 12'-20' spread.
'Green Giant' arborvitae is a hybrid cross between western redcedar and Japanese arborvitae. It is a large, hardy evergreen with a pyramidal to conical, uniform appearance. The dense, scale-like foliage in flattened sprays on horizon or ascending branches is a lustrous, medium green color that darkens or bronzes only slightly in winter. The leaves have a faint, pleasant fragrance. The young bark is cinnamon-red, turning to gray-brown or red-brown. Mature trees bear persistent, half-inch, oblong cones that emerge green and turn brown. 'Green Giant' tolerates a wide range of soils and temperatures but prefers moist, well-drained soil and sun to partial shade. It has some drought tolerance once established. Wet or poorly drained sites should be avoided. It is very salt-sensitive. Young plants should be protected from wind, but once established, this cultivar is wind-resistant and can withstand heavy snow and ice loads. It shows better resistance to browsing by deer than most arborvitae. Little or no pruning is required, but it shears easily if necessary. It is a fast grower, up to 3' a year under good conditions. Mature height averages 50'-60' with a 12-20' spread.
Arborvitae provides nesting sites and cover for birds and small animals. The flower buds, seeds, and foliage are a food source, although this cultivar has greater resistance to deer browsing that most arborvitae.
In 1967, D.T. Poulsen from Kvistgaard, Denmark gave the U.S. National Arboretum a single plant, Thuja standishii x plicata. From this plant, the clone named 'Green Giant' was propagated. It is public domain tree, so anyone can propagate it from cuttings. The word arborvitae comes the Latin meaning "tree of life." 'Green Giant' arborvitae rapidly became a popular plant and is a good alternative for hemlock in the Northeast and Leland Cypress in the Southeast.
Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who assigned the Latin name to this species, picked up on one of the plants more sensory traits. The genus name, Thuja, is from a Greek word for perfume. Squeezing the evergreen leaves releases an aroma that is nothing less than nature's perfume. The specific name, occidentalis, means "west," the direction from Sweden where this tree was discovered.
The native North American tree, America Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), was useful in early canoes and medicines and became the first North American tree to be introduced to Europe.
Green Giant arborvitae prefers moist soil. Avoid poorly drained and wet sites.
Tiny, ovate, scale-like, ¼" -1/8" long, closely overlapping on divided branchlets, glossy medium green color. Leading shoots each have an inconspicuous resin gland; those on the smaller divisions are often without glands.
Small, inconspicuous, male yellowish, female pinkish color
Half-inch oblong cones, green in summer, brown in winter.
Rate of growth refers to the vertical increase in growth unless specified differently. Rate, as is true for size, is influenced by numerous variables such as soil, drainage, water, fertility, light, exposure, ad infinitum. The designation slow means the plant grows 12” or less per year; medium refers to 13 to 24” of growth per year; and fast to 25” or greater.Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, by Michael Dirr.