Thuja, American Arborvitae, Eastern Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar, Northern White Cedar 'Emerald Green'

Thuja occidentalis

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Thuja (THOO-yuh) (Info)
Species: occidentalis (ok-sih-den-TAY-liss) (Info)
Cultivar: Emerald Green
Additional cultivar information:(aka Smaragd)




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Bear Valley Springs, California

Golden Hills, California

Stallion Springs, California

Tehachapi, California(3 reports)

Longmont, Colorado

Jasper, Georgia

Homer Glen, Illinois

Niles, Illinois

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Dracut, Massachusetts

Livonia, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan

Ozark, Missouri

Saint James, Missouri

Helena, Montana

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Cliffside Park, New Jersey

Piscataway, New Jersey

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Maggie Valley, North Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Lititz, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Moore, South Carolina

Thompsons Station, Tennessee

Fort Worth, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

Arlington, Virginia

Portsmouth, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Rosburg, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Merrimac, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 15, 2014, Sequoiadendron4 from Lititz, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

While this plant is useful as a screen, it provides very little other benefits to the garden. It is way too over planted and will split under heavy snow or ice loads if above 10-12' tall. My rear neighbor lined his property with these when they moved in about 35 years ago. They're still around but they look pretty haggardly. If properly trimmed and maintained every few years, a hedge of this plant can look nice without becoming an eyesore.


On Mar 21, 2011, virginiarose from Portsmouth, VA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Thuja Green Giant is the one that gets 40 feet tall, not the Emerald green, this gets 8-12 feet tall. Also I have heard this is the only Arborvitae that doesn't mind pruning. I have two in my corner garden and I do not plan on letting them get 12 feet, I will keep them around 6-8 feet tall. Very beautiful evergreen, easy to care for.


On Dec 27, 2010, velveteena from Seattle, WA wrote:

I give this plant a positive because it has survived the last three years in quite shady conditions, along with neglect in the area of watering. I now try harder in the summer. It's all good, though. I planted three as a screen near the road, but there is inadequate room if they get too huge. Then I'll report on attempts with pruning!


On Jul 17, 2009, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Leaving a neutral only because I just purchased this plant, but forsee a positive in the future.

As mentioned above, the height listed for this particular plant is
listed at 40', when it should be 15' tall.

Found an entire aisle of these for five dollars each today, regular
price $24.98.


On Oct 9, 2008, cheesehead118 from Thompsons Station, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Useful as a hedge, on corners, in the background, etc. In my experience, emeralds only get around 4' wide and 12' -15' tall. They grow moderately fast. Stays a nice green all winter here in TN. Problems sometimes occur when placed near a downspout in clay. They don't like to sit in water. Also, in the drought of 2007 here, lots of these died or nearly died. Some that survived have their south facing sides scorched and still remain brown. If it is dry in the summer, make sure to water these. They won't repair the browned/ dead areas. Also watch out for bag-worms. Because of the narrow growth, Emeralds are a very useful plant.


On Feb 21, 2008, DATURA12 from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

According to the information that is posted for this plant it grows 40', the tag from the grower states 10-15' tall.