Arborvitae trees are the hardworking commanders of the landscape. Their stylish foundation, versatility, fast growth, and almost unbeatable hardiness and resilience make them a favorite amongst residential and commercial gardens. Arborvitae, also known as Thuja, are coniferous evergreen trees or hedges, and you may catch them all around your city or neighborhood planted as privacy screens or accenting a landscape. They’ve become an integral part of landscape design and are a modern classic with their slender silhouette and year-round color.
Historically, Arborvitae was an integral part of Native American culture with their many medicinal uses, which is fitting as the word itself means “tree of life.” Over the years, their purpose has grown in popularity to bring backyards and communities to life with dense green foliage, natural sound barrier qualities, and exceptional low maintenance. Whether you need a windbreaker to slow winter squalls, want to create a lush green barrier, or are looking for an elegant accent, Arborvitae checks all the boxes!
Arborvitae Trees Diverse Shapes And Sizes
When it comes to arborvitae, there is a botanical counterpart out there for everyone. A vibrant variety of trees, hedges, cute globe forms, and small garden bed accents exist, and playing matchmaker for these is part of the fun! Though there are two mainstays in every horticulturalists’ toolkit - Green Giant and Emerald Green. They are the staples thriving in almost all climatic regions across the U.S. and legends in the landscape.
What kinds of tree grows fast yet last a long time? Green Giant Arborvitae!
Thuja Green Giants receive its iconic name achieving the colossal height of up to 40-50 feet tall, and it sure gets there in a hurry growing up to 3 feet a year! With a lifespan of 50-150 years, Green Giant literally stands head and shoulders above the rest! Reaching 10 feet tall in just 7 years, it is the fastest growing evergreen tree. Making it a top choice for privacy screening and hedges, just blink, and you’ll have the natural green security wall of your dreams!
Key Features of Green Giant Arborvitae:
- Grow 40-50 feet tall, and 15-20 feet wide
- Soft, dense, rich green foliage that holds its color year-round
- Pest and disease resistant, even deer leave them alone
- It keeps its strong pyramidal form all on its own
- Easy to grow, sturdy, and low maintenance
- Wind resistant, noise canceling, and cold hardy
- Extremely fast-growing and long-living
What plant can be used to hide a fence? Emerald Green Arborvitae!
Emerald Green Arborvitae is like the little brother to the massive Green Giants, and much of the amazing qualities have been passed down to this junior, making it perfect for smaller landscapes. Emerald Green grows 1-2 feet a year and quickly reaches 10-15 feet tall with a slim 3-4 foot wide physique. Displaying lustrous bright green foliage throughout the year, and maturing into a strong emerald green color as it ages. This aesthetic beauty will surprise you in how incredibly easy it is to grow and maintain. It is often planted in multiples to create garden borders, privacy screens, entryway pillars, and proudly accent garden beds.
Key Features of Emerald Green Arborvitae:
- Can withstand harsh winters of -40 degrees, hardy to zones 2-8
- It makes an immediate impact when planted with its fast growth
- Dense, bright green foliage stands out with four seasons of interest
- It keeps slim pyramidal form all on its own
- Maturing to a height of 10-15’ tall and 3-4’ wide, it’s perfect for smaller landscapes or narrow spaces
- Wind-resistant, fast-growing, hardy, and low maintenance
- Drought-tolerant, insect and disease resistant
We may have just narrowed the gardening pool down to two significant arborvitae, though Thuja has become a household name, and as stated earlier, there are many other varieties to briefly note on. Arborvitae like Full Speed A Hedge and Twisted Brilliance are the even smaller relatives to this family tree that also make excellent hedges and accent plants. For a charming appeal, Little Giant Globe Arborvitae adds geometric shape and texture to your garden beds in pint-size cuteness! All of these varieties are tough, vigorous growers, each with their own personality and style. Though let us take a deep dive into Green Giant and Emerald Green to learn all about spacing, care, pruning, and different ways to use them in the landscape!