The Q&A Archives: Thuja

Question: I'm thinking of planting Thuja Green Giant trees in my yard. Would you recommend them? I live about 10 miles inland from the West Coast in a valley the gets considerable coastal influence. I believe I am in USDA Zone 9 and Sunset Zone 15.

Carl Walton

Answer: I think it will grow well in your garden. Thuja Green Giant is one of the fastest growing of all Conifers. This very rare hybrid between Western Red Cedar plicata and Thuja Standishii Cedar will put on 3 to 5 feet of growth per year once established in your garden! And not only is it quick -- it's also fragrant, densely clothed right down to the ground, and resistant to adverse weather from heavy ice loads to high winds to drought. Even deer leave it alone.

Elegant and uniform, Green Giant's conical habit needs no shearing or pruning, though you can trim it to desired size if you don't want it to reach its full size of 30 to 50 feet tall, 10 to 12 feet wide. Few trees are easier to grow -- just water it in well the first few seasons, and it will take off in your sunny to lightly shaded garden.

This is one tough customer in the garden, tolerating almost any soil except sand, and resistant to damage from ice and snow, cold and heat. Hardy to -15 degrees F, Green Giant is also able to withstand drought well, exhibiting no significant pest or disease problems, and is highly deer-resistant. You just can't find a hardier, more vigorous tree for a perimeter planting, windbreak, privacy screen, or dramatic specimen in the garden.

Green Giant's most vigorous growth will be in full sun, but it will also perform well in light shade. Space trees 5 to 6 feet apart for super-quick coverage, 10 to 12 feet apart otherwise. Grows well in Zones 5-8, and Zone 9 on the West Coast.

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