Which Thuja Plicata to plant?

shuttonMarch 27, 2012

I need to plant some tree/shrubs for a privacy wall that will be about 60' long. I have about 8 feet between a split rail fence and the road. Also I live in New Jersey if that matters. I have been recommended Thuja Plicata 'Excelsa' but then someone else recommended Thuja Plicata 'green giant'. When I questioned they came back with Thuja Occidentalis Elegantissima. Can anyone shed some light on which plant may be best for me or the differences between them?


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

thuja is a conifer ... not shrub.. but i dont care where you post..

but there are about a million posts on GGiants [well 252 to be precise] .. many in the conifer forum ... should you wish to use the GW search function ... see link

mine are much wider than 8 feet ..


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 6:27PM
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1. none of these are shrubs :-)
2. Only the first listed is a true T. plicata - 'Green Giant' is a hybrid and 'Elegantissima' is a pyramidal form of American arborvitae.
3. All are going to offer slightly different matrure heights, widths and growth rates.

If 8' is the maximum spread, both 'Excelsa' and 'Green Giant' will get wider, although not very rapidly. And they can be pruned/sheared to maintain more of a hedge-like narrow appearance.

The Green Giants will offer the fastest growth at 3+ feet per year, growing conditions being similar and proper to the plants' liking.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 6:51PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

3' per year it has been acknowledged on this site was based on plants inside greenhouses. As I remember it the National Arboretum page on this introduction (made by them) says 1' per year. Splitting the difference is probably about right, at least for young and vigorous stock. Plants I have seen on the market here did not look to be progressing particularly rapidly, as far as it goes.

All three are tall-growing conifers reaching definite tree height, even 'Elegantissma' which is unusually coarse and vigorous for an eastern arborvitae. It was mistaken for a form of western redcedar in Vancouver, BC plantings by G. Straley in his Vancouver tree book.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:50PM
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I'm in zone 7B and need to find something evergreen to plant as a very tall hedge to screen off new 35 feet tall homes built very close to our one story home. The planting area will be only 5 feet deep along a fence that is 90 feet long. So I need something very tall (to hide 35 feet tall roofs) and very thin. These homes will be only 30 feet away from our house and deck. We're on a slope, as well, so I was thinking perhaps a variety of plantings for interest might be good. Help!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2014 at 8:23PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

katerina ... what in the wold does that have to do with a 2.5 year old post???

start your own post ... and add some pix ...

there arent many alternatives at 35 feet tall.. and 5 feet wide ...


    Bookmark   September 26, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

In addition to it not necessarily really being possible to achieve a 35 ft. x 5 ft. hedge that is not pruned to remain narrow it may not be necessary to have the screen grow as tall as the houses in order to get adequate relief.

And such a planting is not going to produce the desired effect overnight. Even with a choice that managed to average 2 ft. per year of height increase (after full establishment) there is going to be a more than 17 year wait before 35 ft. in height is attained.

At which point the planting will itself be looming over your lot, to produce the same feeling of being walled in that the new houses are now. To appear in scale with a space a planting needs to be about 1 1/2 times in height as the bed is wide. So a 5 ft. wide bed should have a ~7ft. tall planting for everything to appear in proportion. A 35 ft. tall planting in a 5 ft. wide bed is about 5 times taller than is desirable where a completely comfortable psychological effect is to be produced.

I believe this commonly shared feeling that trees and shrubs are "too tall" when confined within spaces that are not wide enough to house them visually results in many specimens and plantings being brutalized and spoiled by topping.

This post was edited by bboy on Sat, Sep 27, 14 at 11:13

    Bookmark   September 27, 2014 at 11:11AM
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