Western Red Cedar, Giant Arborvitae 'Green Giant'


Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Thuja (THOO-yuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Green Giant



Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade



This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


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:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Dothan, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Prescott, Arizona

Lower Lake, California

Seaside, California

New Milford, Connecticut

Rincon, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Taylorsville, Kentucky

Lakeville, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Hastings, Michigan

Holland, Michigan

Lucedale, Mississippi

Lees Summit, Missouri

Dixon, New Mexico

Barryville, New York

Mahopac, New York

Hillsborough, North Carolina

Vale, North Carolina

Streetsboro, Ohio

Glen Riddle Lima, Pennsylvania

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Shamokin, Pennsylvania

Stewartstown, Pennsylvania

Tyrone, Pennsylvania

Clarksville, Tennessee

Aledo, Texas

Denton, Texas

North Zulch, Texas

North Salt Lake, Utah

Arlington, Virginia

Bristow, Virginia

Langley, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 12, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This makes an imposing, fast-growing, broadly pyramidal evergreen tree under good conditions. Unlike Thuja occidentalis cultivars, it sheds snow easily and rarely suffers from snow damage.

It is a long-lived tree, and it normally keeps its lower branches to the ground into old age. While still young it rapidly gets wider than most people seem to anticipate, to 25', unless it's sheared top to bottom twice a year.

Because of this, it is best used in a parklike setting with plenty of room. It does not belong on a small urban or suburban residential property.

One exception: At the amazing Chanticleer Garden (Wayne PA), it's used for a large formal hedge. There it's sheared twice a year.

All of the people rating their experience here ... read more


On May 23, 2013, sunshimmer from Shamokin, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I bought this tree 4 years ago. It was about 5 1/2ft tall. I have it as a corner tree to my house which receives full sun. It is in a VERY windy location and I planted it there to eventually block some of the winter winds that get crazy here on the side of my house. It has grown to about 13ft tall now. It didn't do much the first year, the second year it grew about 2ft, and since then it has taken off and growing very rapidly. So far it has held up nicely to all the wind and snow loads and it keeps its lovely green color all through winter with a slight browning of edges by spring, which quickly turns green again with warm weather. I provided no winter protection but make sure it is well watered and gets some fertilizer twice a year. (Spring and Mid summer). No issues or problems thus far.


On Nov 7, 2012, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a fine plant, but it is oversold and poorly sited much of the time in my region. They are commonly available and recommended for their height and fast growth.

The size of this tree is much too large for most lots in town, yet landscapers recommend and plant hedges of them on lots as narrow as 30'. Further, they are usually planted only a few feet from a property line so that the tree or hedge gradually encroaches on neighboring properties; ideally, the hedge would have to be planted 6-10' inside the property line - 1/3 the width of the lot!

Pruning the trees to keep the size in check is not possible because they are "hollow" inside and once pruned back they will not regrow . The only option for managing the size of the trees is to shear them several ti... read more


On Mar 4, 2012, WigglyPaw from Hastings, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I bought 100 from mike shade and potted them for a growing season it is harsh here/ next year I planted them and some underground creatures were either eating them or making hmes and underground highways but i
only lost one they are slow for me about 3 " /year. I hope they make some progress this year.


On Apr 16, 2010, amy6152 from Pittsford, NY wrote:

We planted eight of these a year and a half ago and they are doing well now. As another user commented, you need to make sure they are well watered before the ground freezes. The first fall (right after we planted them) we did not do this, and they suffered great losses to dessication (winter burn). Basically, they didn't have enough water to make it through the winter and so some parts of the plants died. Google "Ron Smith" and arborvitae for some excellent information on proper care.


On Apr 8, 2010, droberts0768 from Atlanta, GA wrote:

I have this tree and it is growing very slowly. Please let me know what can be done to help with growing. Thanks.


On Jul 25, 2008, clayandrocks9 from Bristow, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Wonderful tree. I bought five small trees and put four along my back fence to create privacy. The first year they grew about 12 inches. The second year they put on about 24 inches. This year, the third they have doubled in size and now are around six feet tall. I did plant one tree at the top of a hill and it is growing slower but it is exposed to lots of wind.

I water the trees only when there is no rainfall for a month and they are doing great. Since I have heavy clay soil I did plant them higher than the surrounding ground. I also added some compost/manure to the backfill soil. So far I have not noticed it being bother by any insects and they are fairly drought tolerant. I also love the fragrance they give off when you brush ups against them.


On May 31, 2008, jengamom from Lakeville, MA wrote:

Have stood up well to snow and ice and drought. They grow very fast vertically (full sun and regular watering for fastest growth), but are slower to put on width. I would suggest planting them in two staggered rows for optimal quick privacy screen.


On May 8, 2008, slyperso1 from Richland, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

'Green Giant' is a vigorously growing, pyramidal evergreen with rich green color that remains outstanding throughout hardiness range.

It has no serious pest or disease problems and has been widely grown and tested in commercial nursery production. 'Green Giant' is an excellent substitute for Leyland cypress.

Height and width: To 60 feet tall with a 1220 foot spread at
maturity; 30 feet at 30 years.

Growth rate: Rapid.

Habit: Tightly pyramidal to conical evergreen tree; uniform appearance.

Foliage: Dense, rich green, scalelike foliage in flattened sprays borne on horizontal to ascending branches; good winter color except, perhaps, in the southeast.

Fruit: Persistent, oblong cones, approximately... read more


On Jan 11, 2008, hooperhaupt from Tyrone, PA wrote:

Purchased nine Thuja Green Giants and planted them on April 25th 2007. Planted them 5 ft apart. Beginning height of these trees was 12-18 inches. Some are growing faster than others, but, on the average they have grown 10-15 inches in the first 9 months after planting.
I made sure the holes were dug extra large before planting, giving roots soft soil in which to start growing. I made sure their was no grass or weeds within 2-3 feet of every tree. This is very important for growth of Green Giants. Grass and weeds to close will slow growth! I mulched the areas with 2-3 inches of wood mulch, keeping the mulch 3-5 inches away from the stems (trunk). Water them throughly and as often as needed. Never let the soil or trees dry completely up or this could cause slow growth or cause death. ... read more


On May 7, 2007, mike3764 from Stewartstown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Planted 10 in Spring of 2001 as a screen for my backyard at the proper spacing. All original plants were between 1 and 2 feet tall at time of planting. The first Winter, I thought I had lost them as they all turned brown, but rebounded the following Spring. They did not start showing rapid growth until 2004. It is now May of 2007 and they are all doing well. They all have full growth from top to bottom and all are over 7 feet tall - they average 2 to 3 feet a year now.

They do not require any care, although I fertilize in the Spring of each year with Holly Tone. They have a good evergreen odor and seem to be solid growers...very pleased so far!


On Apr 8, 2007, Turken from Lower Lake, CA wrote:

I have 2O planted. So far so good. They held up great through winter cold.


On Jun 18, 2006, Cymricnightlily from Coralville, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

The U.S. National Arboretum says this clone is Thuja standishii x plicata. It was formerly erroneously labeled Thuja occidentalis 'Gigantoides'


On Mar 26, 2006, SusanKC from Shawnee Mission, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have these in my backyard as a screen. They look great and are growing very well here. No problems with deer eating them or ice causing damage.


On Jul 27, 2005, jdcoffman from Lees Summit, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a very good plant, I have several in my yard and plan to propagate more in order to sell. It is very fast growing with 5-feet per year not uncommon. It is a very dense and perfectly shaped tree, very upright and stately. They should be planted 5-6 feet apart for a super-fast privacy screen, or 12 feet apart otherwise.