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Green Giant Arborvitae: The workhorse your landscape needs

The Green Giant arborvitae (Thuja plicata) is a remarkable evergreen tree that stands as a symbol of enduring beauty and resilience in diverse landscapes. With its imposing size and lush foliage, this tree commands attention and offers a multitude of benefits. In this week's edition of our "Plant of the Week" series, we will uncover the exceptional features and essential care guidelines for the Green Giant arborvitae, shedding light on why it remains a favorite among gardening enthusiasts.

Green Giant Arborvitae Row

Green Giant Arborvitae Foliage


The Green Giant is a truly exceptional evergreen that commands attention in any landscape. Celebrated for its towering stature and remarkable features, this majestic tree is a masterpiece of nature's design. One of its standout qualities is its impressive size, capable of reaching towering heights that create a stunning vertical presence in gardens and outdoor spaces. This characteristic not only adds year-round visual interest but also offers a sense of privacy and natural screening.

However, the allure of the Green Giant goes beyond its impressive height. Its dense, lush foliage forms a vibrant green wall that provides year-round beauty and acts as a natural backdrop for other plants. This verdant shield not only enhances the aesthetics of a landscape but also offers a valuable habitat for various birds and wildlife, making it an essential contributor to local ecosystems.

The adaptability of the Green Giant arborvitae is another factor that sets it apart. It thrives in a range of soil types and tolerates both sun and partial shade, allowing for versatile placement within diverse landscapes. Moreover, its resilient nature equips it to withstand various environmental conditions, from urban settings to more rural environments.

Beyond its visual appeal and adaptability, the Green Giant also serves as an effective windbreak and sound barrier. Its densely packed foliage helps reduce wind velocity and muffle noises, making it a practical choice for enhancing outdoor comfort and creating a peaceful atmosphere.

Embodying both beauty and functionality, the Green Giant arborvitae is a testament to the wonders of nature's craftsmanship. Its impressive size, lush foliage, adaptability, and practical uses make it a sought-after addition to gardens, parks, and landscapes. Whether planted as a majestic focal point or a natural screen, the Green Giant arborvitae leaves its mark on outdoor spaces, creating a sense of awe and reverence for the natural world.

Green Giant Arborvitae Foliage


The Green Giant is a tree that seamlessly blends aesthetic appeal with practical benefits. While its ornamental value is widely recognized, its contributions extend far beyond visual enhancement. Here are some of the essential uses and advantages of the Green Giant arborvitae:

Screening and Privacy: The towering stature and dense foliage of the Green Giant arborvitae make it an exceptional natural screen and privacy barrier. Whether placed along property lines, near patios, or around outdoor living spaces, this evergreen creates a shield that offers seclusion and tranquility. Its lush greenery acts as a living wall, ensuring your cherished outdoor areas remain a private sanctuary.

Windbreak: With its robust growth and abundant foliage, the Green Giant is a reliable windbreak. Its thick canopy effectively reduces wind velocity, providing shelter and protection to surrounding landscapes, gardens, and structures. This quality is particularly valuable in open and windy environments, helping to create more favorable conditions for plant growth and outdoor activities.

Sound Barrier: The dense foliage of the Green Giant arborvitae also serves as a natural sound barrier. By absorbing and diffusing sound waves, it helps mitigate noise from nearby roads, urban environments, or other sources. This feature contributes to a quieter and more peaceful outdoor space, enhancing your overall outdoor experience.

Wildlife Habitat: The Green Giant's dense foliage offers shelter and nesting sites for various bird species, adding to the biodiversity of your landscape. Its year-round greenery provides protection from predators and adverse weather conditions, making it a valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Visual Interest and Focal Points: Beyond its functional roles, the Green Giant arborvitae is an attractive ornamental tree that adds vertical interest to landscapes. Its vibrant green foliage and towering presence naturally draw the eye, creating a dynamic focal point that anchors gardens and outdoor designs.

Low-Maintenance Solution: The Green Giant is prized for its resilience and low-maintenance nature. Once established, it requires minimal care, making it an excellent choice for homeowners and landscapers seeking an impactful yet hassle-free addition to their outdoor spaces.

Incorporating the Green Giant arborvitae into your landscape design brings a multitude of benefits that go beyond aesthetics. Its role as a privacy screen, windbreak, sound barrier, wildlife habitat, and focal point make it an incredibly versatile and practical choice. By planting this remarkable tree, you create an outdoor environment that is both visually appealing and functionally enhanced.

Green Giant Arborvitae in Rain


Caring for the Green Giant arborvitae is straightforward and rewarding. Adhere to these easy-to-follow guidelines to ensure the vigor and vitality of your tree:

Planting: Select a site with well-drained soil and ample sunlight. While it thrives in full sun, the Green Giant can tolerate partial shade. Fall or early spring is the ideal time for planting, allowing the tree to establish its root system before facing extreme weather conditions.

Watering: Maintain slightly moist soil without overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to root issues. Deep and thorough watering, especially during dry spells, ensures even soil moisture. Avoid waterlogged conditions that might impede root health.

Pruning: The Green Giant arborvitae typically maintains its naturally elegant shape and requires minimal pruning. However, you can selectively prune during the dormant season to remove dead, damaged, or crossing branches. This practice promotes structural integrity and facilitates healthy airflow.

Fertilizing: Although the Green Giant is relatively undemanding, you can apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in spring before new growth emerges. This fortifies the tree with essential nutrients, fostering robust growth and lush foliage.

Mulching: Apply organic mulch around the base of the tree, leaving space around the trunk to prevent moisture accumulation and potential diseases. Mulching conserves soil moisture, regulates temperature, and inhibits weed growth, supporting overall tree well-being.

Protection: While Green Giant arborvitaes are generally hardy, young specimens may benefit from protection during harsh winters. Employ burlap wraps or tree guards to safeguard the trunk and lower branches from frigid temperatures and strong winds.

By embracing these care practices, you can ensure the enduring health and magnificence of your Green Giant arborvitae. The tree's impressive presence and versatility will grace your outdoor space for years to come, offering a host of benefits to both you and your landscape.


The Green Giant arborvitae stands as a testament to nature's magnificence and adaptability. With its commanding presence, this tree adds depth to landscapes through its remarkable growth, sturdy structure, and distinctive foliage. Whether used to provide privacy, accentuate garden features, or create living screens, the Green Giant's versatility enhances outdoor spaces in various ways. Its resilience against various conditions, from harsh winters to urban environments, underscores its reliability and endurance.

By adhering to proper planting and care practices, you can ensure the continued splendor of your Green Giant arborvitae. Select well-drained soil and provide regular watering to foster its robust growth. Prune selectively to maintain its naturally appealing form and ensure optimal airflow. Proper fertilization fortifies the tree's health, while thoughtful mulching aids in soil moisture regulation and weed control. Shielding young trees during demanding winters exemplifies the care you invest.

Embrace the magnificence of the Green Giant arborvitae, and watch as it flourishes into an enduring symbol of beauty and strength in your outdoor sanctuary. With its resilience and grace, this remarkable tree stands as a living testament to the harmony between nature and design, elevating the allure of your landscape year after year.

Check out the entire 'Plant of the week' series

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