Starting Thuja Green Giants from seed

MrsBoutin(5b)August 17, 2014


I just bought some thuja seeds and I have no idea what to do with them. I have about 400 feet of backyard that I need to privatize (just one side for now) and thuja's at the local green house go for $25-35 each which to me is I thought about trying my hand at starting some.

I have read about different ways to start them 1) soil in ziplock, in fridge for upteen years (not literally) 2) freezer, drown in water then plant 3) plant in a "greenhouse" and let'er fly or 4) plant where you want them outside and cross your fingers.

Has anyone ever tried started thuja's by seed? and if so, what technique did you use and was it successful?

Right now I have two in a mini green house on my window sill that I planted yesterday so we will see what comes of it, if anything.


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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

You can start Thuja from seed, but they won't be 'green Giant', they will just be generic arbs.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 12:39PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Would be expected to show a range of characters of the parent species, a resulting hedge might not be uniform. Would also be expected to need a cold treatment before being able to germinate, you should be able to find valid information on growing Thuja species from seed on the web. Otherwise maybe at a college library. You will have to decide which source seems to be giving you the straight dope and proceed from there. Where I live I think a typical routine in a commercial setting would be to plant the fresh seeds when mature in fall in a cold greenhouse and move on the resulting seedlings the following year. An important point in your case would be what harvest the seeds you were sent date from, it seems kind of early for this year's crop to have been ready. In which case if they have been stored warm since last fall viability may have fallen markedly.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 2:11PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

buy one.. and propagate some thru rooting ...

i filled a milk jug.. and got about 12 of 25 to root .. in perlite.. with rooting hormone.. on bottom heat .. in winter ... in a gallon baggie ... under lights ... there.. the whole formula.. good luck .... lol

thuja are one of the few CONIFERS.... [there is such a forum].. that root rather freely ...

check Dirrs manual propagation of woody plants for more info ...


    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 7:00PM
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You can also buy seedling Green Giants (7-10 inches tall) online for $2.50 each.

I'm not going to put in a plug for the company offering this price, but I did buy my own Green Giants from them (a larger size from what I remember) over a decade ago, and they are doing well (the tallest is close to 20 feet). Nice trees, relatively carefree except for a little deer browse in their early years. They weren't as fast-growing as advertised, but then again I didn't go nuts fertilizing them.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 11:48PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

They root so easy from cuttings, why bother to go the seed route?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 1:22AM
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I live in a small town and we didn't get any green giants this year.

I tried to order some online but I live in Canada and all the sites are American so they can't ship them to me....

Seeds were really my last resort for this year.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 11:45AM
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Can you give us a hint to where in Canada you live? Might help to find you a source of Green Giant for next year.

When you do get your hands on one, propagating from cuttings is the way to go. From seed, you won't get the true Green Giant and you're putting yourself at a ~3 year disadvantage over cuttings.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 2:48PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

It's already been said, but I will try to make it clearer...You cannot propagate 'Green Giant's from seed.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 7:50PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If the plant isn't on the market in Canada then you will just have to use something else - including perhaps seedlings from your seed purchase, if you get any to come up. There is probably no particular reason why you need 'Green Giant' specifically - and if you do not want a "Giant" it might actually not be suitable anyway.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 8:12PM
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I grew some generic thuja plicatas, not green giants. I planted them in a flat in the porch, and the porch slightly freezes over winter. Seedlings appeared for 3 years and I just potted them on or planted them outside as each one appeared large enough. Perhaps green giants are the same that way???

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:17PM
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Hi Mrs Boutin,
Get your small GG's from this link for @ US$4.95.
They will ship to Canada but there is an added expense for that.

Here is a link that might be useful: US source Green Giants

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:01PM
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