Green Giant Arborvitae

Thuja standishii x plicata <span class=normal>‘Green Giant’</span>

Hardiness Zones: 5 - 7   View Map
  • Will grow up to 3' per year until maturity
  • Features tiny, scale-like, glossy green leaves that are packed closely together in overlapping rows on divided branchlets, displaying in a flattened, fan-like spray
  • Yields 1/2" long oblong cones that emerge green in the summer and turn brown in the winter
  • Releases a pleasing aroma when leaves are squeezed
  • Tolerates wind once established and withstands heavy ice or snow, making it a good choice for a fast-growing windbreak
  • Shows better resistance to browsing by deer than most arborvitae
  • Grows in a pyramidal shape
  • Darkens or bronzes slightly in the winter
  • Requires little or no pruning but can be sheared easily if necessary
  • Should be planted 5–6' apart for a screen or hedge
  • Is a public domain tree, meaning anyone can propagate it from cuttings
  • Has no serious disease or pest problems

Tree Details



Growth Speed


Scientific Name

Thuja standishii x plicata ‘Green Giant’

Mature Height

50' - 60'

Mature Spread

12' - 20'

Shipping Height

6" - 1'


The green giant arborvitae is a large, vigorous, fast-growing evergreen—shooting up by as much as 3 feet per year until maturity. Its natural pyramidal to conical form boasts dense, rich green foliage that darkens or bronzes slightly in the winter.

This is an exceptional landscape tree for use as a screen, hedge, or single specimen. It is also resistant to wind once established and can withstand heavy ice or snow, making it a good choice for a natural windbreak.

Sun Preference

Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade

Wildlife Value

Arborvitae provides nesting sites and cover for birds and small animals. The flower buds, seeds and foliage are a food source, although this cultivar has greater resistance to deer browsing than most arborvitae.


In 1967, D.T. Poulsen from Kvistgaard, Denmark, gave the U.S. National Arboretum a single plant—Thuja standishii x plicata. From this plant, the clone named 'Green Giant' was propagated. Green giant arborvitae rapidly became a popular plant and is a good alternative for hemlock in the Northeast and Leland cypress in the Southeast.

Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who assigned the Latin name to this species, picked up on one of the plants more sensory traits. The genus name, Thuja, is from a Greek word for perfume. Squeezing the evergreen leaves releases an aroma that is nothing less than nature's perfume.

Soil Preference

Well Drained, Loamy, Sandy, Clay, Moist, Alkaline, Acidic


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