|Learn more about Thuja Green Giants
The Lowdown on the Thuja Green Giant
As you might imagine, the thuja green giant isn’t a diminutive tree – it can grow very rapidly to reach 40 feet in height and this growth rate
makes it perfect for hedges and privacy screens.The thuja green giant isn’t just functional, though, it’s also beautiful.
Thuja green giants are also known as arborvitae – the tree of life. This tree, which is native to East Asia and North America has sap and
oils that are often collected and used in aromatherapy. The thuja green giant is a cross between the Standishii (Japan) and the Plicata
(America) varieties and it was introduced to the US National Arboretum in 1967. The green giant has a pyramid shape and strong
resistance to cold, disease and pests.
The thuja green giant thrives in zones 5-9 and can withstand temperatures as low as -20C. It also makes a great snow barrier, with its
strong branches. It also makes a good wind barrier, protecting smaller shrubs and trees, as well as protecting homes from cold gusts.
The fast growing rate of the thuja green giant makes it ideal for privacy screens. The tree can grow up to five feet in a year, so noisy roads
and neighbours will soon be blocked out. They take well to pruning, though, just in case 40 feet is a bit over the top.
Often planted as part of a mixed row, the thuja also holds its own on its own. Its pyramid shape and mixture of light and dark foliage draw
the eye and provide an attractive backdrop to smaller trees and flower beds.
Caring for your thuja
Thuja trees are low maintenance – simply choose a site that gets full sunlight, although partial sunlight will still be OK. They’re adaptable
to lots of different soils – sandy, heavy, clay, alkaline or acidic will be just fine, although they perform best when it’s slightly acidic.
They don’t like waterlogged soil, so keep it moist rather than damp. Thuja green giants do need regular watering in summer – three times
a month over the summer and twice a month over the winter. You can help to retain moisture by applying a three-inch layer of mulch
around the bottom of the tree.
If your thuja’s needles start to turn yellow or brown, they’re suffering from drought. Over watering can also cause problems, like drooping
branches and discoloration.
Although they don’t need much fertilizer, they could stand a dose of 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 once or twice a year. If you do fertilize, apply it
in the spring after the last frost, or at the start of fall.
Thujas don’t need pruning because they just grow (and grow). If you want wider growth, then you can prune back the central trunk by
about a third and then cut them into the shape you need. They can be trained into a flat-top hedge, as long as the top is at least six inches
wide, but their rapid growth means you’ll need to keep up with it.
Fennel and Fern
Thuja Green Giant: The Privacy Hedge
If you live by the roadside, highway or any busy road and are irritated by things like traffic lights, dust and noise, there are options
for you. For many gardeners, privacy barriers are the first part of planning. Everyone has their reasons to fence their gardens, with
of course privacy being the most common reason.
You can make your garden more private by planting a hedge of arborvitae. Arborvitae is a branched and treelike evergreen tree
that adds beauty to your landscape, while providing a barrier between you and noise, dust, prying eyes, and more.
Living by the roadside, highway or a busy road has its pros and cons. One of the major cons is the unease caused by the traffic. A
Green Giant Thuja hedge eliminates the element of noise and seeing traffic from your home and yard. It also proves to be a divider
between different parts of a large garden (for example, categorized for fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, shades, children’s play
area, etc). Arborvitae is the evergreen option for you to design your garden in a lovely way.
One of the great benefits of the Thuja Green Giant hedge is that it can be a much nicer option compared to a regular fence. For
one, it is a cheaper and more convenient option to surround your gardens. It has no risk of getting rotten or rusted by constant
water spray and dust. It costs less per foot in comparison to the regular iron fence. It provides you with an opportunity to install a
barrier as long as 20′. A green wall is easier to install. It also reduces the pressure of wind, tolerates snow drifts and reduces
noise – all things that an iron fence can never do.
Since this is a natural barrier, it has its requirement of time for natural growth of the plants which can take time. If you are designing
your garden or you are in a house located by the roadside or highway; you will need a couple of grown trees which you can
instantly plant. You can find arborvitae plants in many sizes, from a height of 1-2, feet, 2-3 feet, and so on, up to 5-6 feet.
A Thuja green giant fence grows very quickly, at a rate of 3 feet per year. Within years, it can grow as tall as 10-20 feet, providing
you an instant solution to your privacy and partitioning problems. Thuja green giant is a very popular and widely opted choice
when it is the matter of hedge or barrier. Its ability to cope up with the nature of soil, pests, and diseases makes it stand out in the
crowd, and is even deer resistant. It also helps to shield and protect other plants too.
Get rid of all the dust, noise and lights with the Thuja green giant hedges!
|Kevin Lee Jacobs
Need Privacy? Plant Thuja ‘Green Giant’
I can tell you that Green Giants perform their privacy roles here with stately elegance. Foliage is long, lacy, and medium green. The shrubs
(or should I call them trees?) do exhibit a slight amount of browning during harsh winters. But they become fully green again when spring
arrives. Mine laugh in the face of snow, ice, salt, and pests. Deer do not find them appetizing.
If you need a graceful green background for your garden, one that provides complete privacy from prying eyes and noisy traffic, requires no
coddling, is drought tolerant, and gives shelter to wintering birds, do consider planting a hedge of Thuja ‘Green Giant.’ I can’t think of a
faster-growing shrub for zones 5-9.
What do you do when you want privacy from neighbors and traffic, but you can’t afford a 10-foot brick wall? Why, you plant a green, living
wall instead. And the quickest means to achieving enclosure is with Thuja ‘Green Giant.’ Here is my own experience with this remarkable,
In the spring of 2005, I purchased by mail 60 Thuja Green Giants from Wayside Gardens. You can’t imagine my disappointment when the
shipment arrived. Packed in narrow cardboard boxes were tiny, 12-inch-tall rooted cuttings in equally tiny 4-inch plastic pots. I planted the
pathetic things along the sunny, and fully-exposed, 225-foot eastern border here. The shrubs were watered weekly that spring and summer,
and fertilized just once with a balanced food. No supplemental food or water has been provided since.
The thujas produced little growth during their first two years. In their third spring, however, they added not one, not two, but three feet to
their stature. And they have continued to produce such growth annually. Thus, a mere five years after planting, my “sticks” have achieved a
height of 10 feet, with a 5-foot spread.
|Comparison of the Thuja Green Giant to the Leyland Cypress
Both are evergreen hybrids that shoot up rapidly to skyscraper proportions, a boon to homeowners seeking a privacy hedge or wind-row
yesterday: Arborvitae "Green Giant" (Thuja standishii x plicata "Green Giant") and Leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii or
Cupressaceae leylandii) both can grow up to 3 feet every year and enjoy good reputations for easy care. The two are similar in appearance
and nurture, but differ in several critical respects.
"Green Giant" is relatively new to the world. The cultivar developed from a cross between Japanese arborvitae (Thuja standishii) and western
red cedar (Thuja plicata) in 1967. It grows no seeds and can only propagate asexually. Leyland cypress is also a hybrid, but a fertile one. Its
parents were Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) that thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10
and nootka false cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) that grows in zones 4 though 8.
Both "Green Giant" and Leyland cypress are evergreen conifers and generally top out at around 60 feet. However, the latter can grow much
taller, and occasionally specimens reach 100 feet tall. Both trees have a pyramidal form, but a Leyland cypress is thinner, with branches
spreading to a width of 10 to 15 feet, while a "Green Giant" plumps out to 20 feet. Both trees have deep green foliage with flattened sprays
growing on ascending branches. The fruits of both mature to brown, but "Green Giant" has oblong cones about 1/2 inch long, while Leyland
cypress cones are slightly larger at 3/4 inch.
Both these evergreens prefer well-draining loam but can grow in poor soils ranging from sandy to clay. "Green Giant" prefers slightly cooler
temperatures and thrives in USDA zones 4 through 8, while Leyland cypress prefers zones 5 through 9. Both like full sun, but "Green Giant" is
thirstier, requiring irrigation every week or more often, while Leyland cypress is drought resistant after its root system is established and
requires only occasional watering. Both trees accept shearing or severe pruning.
Diseases and Pests
Disease resistance is the biggest difference between "Green Giant" and Leyland cypress, and one critical to homeowners. "Green Giant" has
no serious pest or disease problems, while Leyland cypress is attacked by Seiridium canker (Seiridium cardinale), a serious and often deadly
fungal disease. And according to Clemson Cooperative Extension, the canker is not the sole problem with fast-growing Leyland cypress. Its
experts say, "The incidence of damage from disease and insect pests has increased every year. Seiridium canker, Botryosphaeria dieback
and Cercosporidium needle blight are becoming increasingly common in landscapes as are infestations of bagworms and spider mites."
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