Do you need a fast-growing evergreen screen that is resistant to deer and bagworms? Or perhaps you are looking for a great focal point evergreen as a specimen or in a grouping? If so, look no further than ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata ‘Green Giant’).
This relatively new hybrid arborvitae is not what most people think of when they think “arborvitae.” This very fast- growing tree has reached 35 feet by 10 feet wide in just seven years (from 3-foot trees at planting) at the Boone County Arboretum in Northern Kentucky. This stately, narrow, formal evergreen forms a dense, “upside down ice cream cone” shaped tree that stays green throughout winter. This selection is resistant to ice and snow load damage.
Tolerant of a range of soil types from sand to heavy clay and pH adaptable, this truly is an easy-to-grow conifer. However, one should avoid poorly drained sites that hold excessive water during wet periods.
Consider using this selection as a much superior alternative to the disease-prone Leyland cypress. It is hardy in USDA Zones 5-7.
Common Name: ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae
Botanical Name: Thuja standishii x plicata
Cultivar: ‘Green Giant’
Type: Needled evergreen
Flowers: Inconspicuous, not ornamentally significant
Soil: Tolerant of heavy clay to sandy soils, and pH adaptable.
Size: 60’ tall x 12-20’ wide
Exposure: Sun to partial shade
Watering: One inch of water per week during the growing season
When To Fertilize: Fertilize lightly in late winter/early spring, or in late fall based on soil test results.
Planting & Pruning: Plant in early spring or fall; little to no pruning needed, maintain a central leader.
In Your Landscape: Great for screens, group plantings, hedges or as a specimen.
(From Kentucky Gardener Volume X Issue I. Photos courtesy of Kristopher Stone.)