Plant Profile: Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

emerald green arborvitae as a privacy hedge

Emerald Green arborvitae is an evergreen in the Cypress family (Cupressaceae). Although some might say they are, technically, tall shrubs, they are commonly referred to as “trees”.

Emerald Green Arborvitaes are great for privacy hedges and wind breaks on any property. Emerald Green Arborvitae typically reach about 12 feet in height and spread between 3 and 4 feet wide. They grow in a pyramid shape, which differs from how most shrubs grow in a ‘globe’ like shape. The pyramid shape helps make them a great privacy hedge. Emerald Green Arborvitae can be confused with Green Giant Arborvitae, which grow much faster, and much taller. Green Giant arborvitae are not good privacy hedges because of their massive size.

Emerald Green’s will have no problem with freezing temperatures or ice in the winter. They are low maintenance until they reach maturity, which at that point will likely need hedge trimming each spring. Trim arborvitae in the spring before new growth is established.

Planting Arborvitae

If you are planting more than one arborvitae, make sure to properly space each plant out. We recommend at least 3 feet apart from one another. They will grow into the space between one another, and if they are planted too close together they can get crowded. When shrubs or trees get crowded, they are more susceptible to disease.

Dig a hole that is at least 3 inches wider than the base of the arborvitae. This is important because when you back fill the plant, you want enough room to move the shrub around for adjustments and remove air pockets. If you allow air pockets with sloppy back filling, the arborvitae will begin to lean as the soil gets more compacted.

Do not plant arborvitaes too low below the surface. They are much better off planted at the surface level, or slightly above the surface. Most trees and shrubs are like this. There is an old saying when it comes to planting: “If it’s too low, it never grows, and if it’s too high, it’ll never die”.

For landscaping service, lawn mowing company, or spring cleanups visit here.