Emerald green arborvitae is an evergreen plant. Known as smaragd, the Danish word “green gemstone,” it is often used as a fence. The evergreen offers partial shade and privacy for your property.
If you’re not familiar with green arborvitae plants, we can help. We’ll show their benefits and offer guidance on how you can grow healthy arborvitae plants.
With outdoor greenery, you want it to last. Green arborvitae plants require little maintenance. If you provide them with the right growing conditions, it will benefit your landscape design.
What Is Emerald Green Thuja Arborvitae?
Emerald green arborvitae ia an evergreen trees with Danish origins. They grow between 10 to 15 feet tall per year and three to four feet wide.
This makes them perfect for small to medium-sized yards that need a little privacy. They grow year round and in a pyramidal shape. You’ll find them on the West Coast, where the soil moisture is ideal for their healthy growth.
The green arborvitae plants are planted in rows, creating a spaced hedge due to their dense leaves. Their hardiness zones are 2-7, which is between Dallas and Canada. However, the plants are popular in southern California. Use your zip code to find out which hardiness zone you live in.
Why Plant Emerald Green Arborvitae
As one of the thickest evergreens, arborvitae is low maintenance. The tree is green year-round and resistant to changes in the weather or sunlight. Green arborvitae plants can withstand diseases and insects that would normally destroy other plants.
Green Giant Arborvitae
The green arborvitae is a thuja tree. They look similar when they are young, but will grow twice as fast and twice as large. Otherwise, they are part of the same family. If you like emerald green arborvitae plants but want something larger, the green giant would be an excellent choice.
You should also consider the growing zone and see if where you live is ideal for healthy growth. The USDA zone for green arborvitae is 2 through 7.
Emerald Green Arborvitae Spacing
Green arborvitae need to enough room to grow. It is not an ideal plant for narrow spaces or in low sunlight areas. It’s a good idea to plant arborvitae about five to six feet apart.
However, 10 to 15 feet is recommended because the new plants can grow up to 20 feet wide. Meanwhile, the emerald green plants grow a few feet wide, so six feet is enough space for both trees.
How To Plant An Emerald Green Arborvitae
Although you can plant arborvitae whenever you want, the best time is in the fall. Evergreen plants excel in the winter rather than the summer like other trees. As long as they receive plenty of sunlight, you won’t have any problems.
Step 1: Weed The Area
Take care of weeds or debris in the area. Remove everything to clear a good spot for the tree. It can also be a good idea to mark where the trees will go, ensuring you place them in a straight line.
Step 2: Till The Land
Loosen the soil with a spade and make sure it’s well drained. This process is called tilling and it gets the soil ready to plant thuja occidentalis in by removing the turf and bringing up the more fertile soil. It also softens the land to make for easy planting.
Step 3: Dig A Hole
Dig a hole twice the width of the root ball. Though it shouldn’t be any deeper than the root ball as this is how the tree will grow. The width isn’t touchy, but twice as wide.
Step 4: Prep The Root Ball
Lightly brush the root ball around with your hand to get the thuja occidentalis ready for planting. Try not to disturb it too much or pull out any roots. But just enough so that it “wakes up” so to speak, getting rid of any crust on the outside layer.
Step 5: Plant The Tree
Plant thuja occidentalis so that the root ball is just higher than ground level. The top should be nearly flush but higher. Fill the rest of the hole and use mulch. Don’t pack it tightly or the plants may suffocate.
How To Care For Thuja Occidentalis
Taking care of your Emerald Green Arborvitae isn’t difficult. Most people will plant the trees and leave them. Especially if it rains in their area.
Thuja occidentalis require direct sunlight or partial shade. The only thing the plants can’t do is thrive under too much shade. They are not indoor trees and need at least six hours of sunshine daily.
When planning your landscape, it’s a good idea to time the amount of sunlight the area receives. Wait one week before you plant your tree to figure out the average amount of sunlight it receives.
Thuja occidentalis don’t like humidity. Though it can still grow, if the climate is too humid, the tree can grow a fungus which could affect the look and the lifespan of the Emerald Green.
But this is a problem when the tree is still young, which is why it is recommended to plant it in the fall. Because they do well in cold weather, even if it is below freezing by 40 degrees.
There is only one thing that thuja occidentalis care about aside from having sunlight and soil, which is their pH level. While the plants can survive at most pH levels, they have an ideal range. You will need to use a balanced fertilizer and make sure you have consistent moisture.
For most thuja occidentalis, the pH level range is 6-8. You can go with lower or higher but if you go too far one way or the other then you may end up with a problem.
When the thuja occidentalis is young, you will have to water it twice a week. But this is normal with any tree. After that, you can water it once a week to avoid root rot.
If the leaves don’t brown from being overwatered or the tree doesn’t get root rot, then water them sparingly.
Emerald green arborvitae doesn’t need to be pruned. However, you can trim them in the spring to get a thicker coat that looks lush and healthy. The only pruning that you should do no matter what is get rid of diseased branches.
This prevents the branches from infecting the thuja occidentalis. Otherwise, you shouldn’t have to worry about pruning for any other reason than personal preference.
The thuja occidentalis don’t require fertilizer. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feed it, it’s just that you don’t need to. You can use a balanced fertilizer if you choose to feed it. Something that works for small to medium-sized evergreen trees will work for the Emerald Green. It only requires consistent moisture.
How Fast Does Emerald Green Arborvitae Grow?
The thuja occidentalis grow about one to two feet per year. This is in the proper climate and with enough sunlight. While climate doesn’t change a lot, if the tree doesn’t get enough water or gets too much, it can affect the growth rate.
The plants are disease resistant and durable, but they can grow slower in some and faster in others. They can also grow during dry spells. The green arborvitae will grow fast during the first few months and then grow a few feet every year, sometimes up to five feet in one year.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Plant Arborvitae?
Early spring beginning in mid-March and through the end of April is the best period to plant thuja occidentalis. Thuja occidentalis roots need time to establish new growth before the winter season.
How Far Should You Plant Arborvitae From A Fence?
Due to the green arborvitae height and its long branches, it’s used as a property border. If you have a fence, it is recommended to plant thuja occidentalis ten feet away from it. This would allow enough room for the plant to grow without hurting a fence.
How Fast Does Emerald Green Arborvitae Grow?
During their first few years, thuja occidentalis grow one to two feet each year with the right sunlight. After four years, the plants grow six inches per year until it reaches their maximum height.
Are Arborvitae Evergreens Fire Resistant?
Arborvitae is flammable, just like any thin-leaf green arborvitae. You shouldn’t grow thuja occidentalis next to your home or a wooden structure. During high heat weather conditions, plants can ignite, which is why they’re considered “plant torches.”
Emerald Green Arborvitae Conclusion
Now that you know more about thuja occidentalis you should be ready to include them in your landscaping project. The trees are highly adaptable and are very low maintenance. People like the evergreens for their attractive green foliage and how they serve as privacy screens.
Thuja occidentalis is a good foundation plant. The spiral topiaries provide a formal screen to you can enjoy more privacy at home. Before you plant one, make sure your landscape has the right growing conditions.