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Emerald Green Arborvitae for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

Thuja occidentalis 'Emerald Green'

Emerald green arborvitae (​Thuja occidentalis 'Emerald Green'​), also known as 'Smaragd' arborvitae or white cedar, is a popular evergreen plant used in landscaping. This plant has many uses depending on the spacing and layout you choose. At times, this cultivar appears in garden beds as a way to add intriguing evergreen foliage textures. Most often, gardeners use this plant as a reliable hedge species. Along with those primary uses, this North American native species offers these interesting characteristics:

  • Wide natural range from Canada to as far south as Virginia.
  • Tolerant of adverse planting conditions, including partial shade or poor soil.
  • Arborvitaes are evergreen, allowing you to enjoy year-round privacy.
  • Ships in 1-2 days
  • 1-Year Warranty Eligible
  • Pots or accessories are not included unless specified in the product options.
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Shipping Alert:

Due to cold weather some plants are not available for immediate shipment. This is to ensure that all plants thrive right out of the box. Often, normal shipping resumes in the spring, when weather is ideal.

Delayed delivery is noted in the table below by grow zone. If you are unsure of your growing zone, view our Growing Zone map. The table provides approximate ship dates.

seasonal-map

location-icon Growing Zone Shipping Resumes
Zones 3 & 4 Week of May 2nd
Zone 5 Week of April 11th
Zone 6 Week of March 28th
Zones 7 – 11 Ships Now!

Plant Care

Sunlight

p-care-1

Grows best in full sunlight, at least six hours per day.

Watering

p-care-2

After planting, water every few days. Once established, reduce watering to once per week during the growing season.

Fertilizing

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Use slow-release fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. Apply fertilizer three times throughout the growing season.

Planting instructions

by John Haryasz | Horticulture Writer and Landscape Designer – last update on January 11, 2022

Emerald green arborvitaes enjoy a planting site that receives full sun, but they will tolerate partial shade. When you’ve found the perfect site, dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Place the tree in the hole and backfill with soil. Tamp down gently before providing the tree with a generous amount of water. To protect the roots from temperature fluctuations, apply a layer of mulch around the base of the tree.

Watering and nutrients

While your new tree is establishing itself, be sure to provide deep waterings a few times per week. Keep the soil moist, but not over-saturated. After four to six weeks, scale back your waterings to once per week. During times of drought or extreme heat, increase your watering frequency. Emerald green arborvitaes are light feeders and enjoy an application of fertilizer no more than three times per year. If you notice any foliage issues, it may be due to one of many reasons, including incorrect soil pH. These trees prefer a pH around 6.0 — test your soil first, then apply aluminum sulfate or lime to the soil to adjust as necessary.

Pruning

Emerald green arborvitaes are one of the few trees that require no pruning. This cultivar naturally takes on a neat and narrow pyramidal shape. However, if you choose to prune, that task should be done in the spring. Pruning during that season gives this plant plenty of time to heal its pruning cuts well before winter arrives. When pruning, remove dead, dying, or diseased branches to promote optimal health for your trees.

Pests and diseases

Emerald green arborvitaes are susceptible to a few fungal diseases, including gray mold and Pestalotiopsis blight. Gray mold can spread from nearby plants, so always remove any diseased branches from all garden plants as soon as you notice an issue. Pestalotiopsis blight infects arborvitaes that are grown too close together, causing dieback and browning foliage — prune out the infected areas. Bagworms are a common pest that can quickly spread and kill a tree. You can control this pest with the help of ​Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki​, a biological insecticide.

FAQs

How far apart should I plant my arborvitaes?

Emerald green arborvitaes can be planted at different spacings for different effects. Plant the trees approximately three to four feet apart. Since this cultivar is particularly narrow, you'll need to plant them a bit closer if you want a continuous hedge sooner rather than later. However, you should also be aware that densely planted arborvitaes can harbor humidity, making them more prone to disease. So, make sure you maintain sufficient airflow between the trees that you plant.

How tall do Emerald green arborvitaes grow?

Emerald green arborvitaes will reach maximum heights of up to 15 feet. Their base will grow to about four feet wide, sloping into a pyramid shape toward the top. Trees planted in dense hedges will not often reach these maximum sizes. With a moderate growth rate of one to two feet per year, arborvitaes will reach their mature height within 10 to 15 years. If the trees are grown in ideal conditions, you can expect a lifespan of approximately 25 years.

How do Emerald green arborvitaes compare to other cultivars?

The genus ​Thuja ​is home to five species of coniferous trees native to North America or eastern Asia, one of which is ​Thuja occidentalis​. Over 300 cultivars exist in addition to the Emerald green variety. Some cultivars naturally grow narrower, including Degroot’s spire and nigra. Other varieties, like globosa and little gem are dwarf-sized, sometimes staying as small as 12 inches tall. The George Washington and golden globe cultivars will produce variegated foliage with hints of gold and yellow.

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Mature height
10-15ft.
Mature width
3-4 ft.
Sunlight requirement
Full Sun
Growth rate
Slow
Botanical name
Thuja occidentalis 'Emerald Green'
Shipping exclusions
AZ
Grows Well In Zones
3-8
map
Growing Zones: 3-8
(hardy down to -10°F)
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