The Emerald Green Thuja (American Arborvitae) is a perfect evergreen for smaller spaces. Grow these trees as living screens that won’t overpower your entire lawn and garden with their size. The Emerald Green Thuja grows to a mature height of twelve feet high by three feet wide, and it grows between one and two feet per year.
This selection is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after evergreens because it maintains its lush green color during the winter. (Many arborvitae trees turn a bronze or brown color on the tips of their branches during the winter months).
How to Plant Emerald Green Thuja Trees
Plant a hedge of Emerald Green Thuja trees for instant privacy. When first planted, they’ll screen your view from chest-height, down. They’ll quickly grow into a dense hedge that protects your privacy from all angles. For best results, plant these trees six feet apart to enjoy their pyramid shape or four feet apart for a dense hedge.
Emerald Green Thuja trees grow best in full sun, but they can withstand partial shade (afternoon sun is best in this case). They are hardy in USDA zones 2-8, and will grow well in a variety of soil types. This selection is not as prone to damage from snow and ice as other selections. It is also more cold-tolerant.
When planting Emerald Green Thujas, dig a hole that is just as deep as the rootball and twice as wide. Remove the plant from the pot and set it in the hole to make sure that the hole is not too deep. (If you plant a tree too deep, it will rot at ground-level.) If the top of the rootball is lower than the surrounding soil, remove the tree and fill in part of the hole. Replace the tree and fill in the hole with the same soil you removed. You do not need to add anything to the soil. Mulch around the tree with shredded hardwood mulch. A layer three inches thick extending three feet around the tree is ideal. Pull the mulch one to three inches away from the trunk so that the trunk won’t rot. Water your new tree by counting to 20 while holding the hose near the trunk or give the tree five watering cans full of water.
How to Care for your Emerald Green Thuja Tree
- Water your new tree every other day by holding a hose around it and counting to 20. If you don’t have a hose, five full large watering cans full of water will do. You’ll need to keep this up for the first two weeks.
- The second two weeks, you can switch to watering every three days with the above method.
- After the first month, water once a week unless it is dry and hot (no rain and temperatures above 80 degrees). If it is hot and dry, water twice a week.
- After the first six months, the trees will be established and won’t need any extra water.
The Emerald Green Thuja grows well without pruning. In fact, this is one tree that needs no pruning other than to remove dead branches. If you do decide to hedge this tree, make sure that when you trim, the bottom of the tree is wider than the top. If the top is wider than the bottom, the tree will die back from the ground, up.
This tree does not need extra fertilizer. If the leaves are not the right color, the problem is likely the soil pH. Test the pH and add aluminum sulfate if the pH is too high, and lime if the pH is too low. (Normal pH is between 5.5-7.0.)