Green Giant Thuja- Is it True how fast it grows???

digsdahlias(z8WA)October 11, 2006

Hi there, we recently moved and wanted a privacy hedge , and finally decided on thuja, smargard. We bought the larger 10 gal. size because we wanted it to grow fast!! Now I've heard different rates of growth for it from 6"/yr to 3'. Anybody know what the actual growth rate is??? Also, we have another side yard we wanted to put thuja along and have since seen a lot of advertisements for Thuja Green Giant, with wonderful claims about growing 3'-5' per year. Anybody tried Green Giant before and do you like it and are the claims about growth rate accurate?? As you might guess, we have a neighbor problem --- an obnoxious noisy kid who screams at the top of his lungs while bouncing on the trampoline or aiming his airgun at our house. We also invested in fountains and they've helped a lot :) Thanks for your help! Kathy

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In western WA, you'd do better to plant local native Thuja plicata, it is even faster than 'Green Giant' (the only reason for growing 'Green Giant' is its better tolerance of eastern US climates)


1 Like    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 5:53AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Amen. The hybrid also has a coarse foliage that is inferior to the native.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 3:18PM
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jnarvaez(z6 NJ)

I purchased a few 12" Green Giants and after three years they are no bigger than 24". The line is that they take some time to get established, but once they do they will grow very fast. In my case, they've taken a very long time to "get established."

1 Like    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 8:31AM
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arpy(z8 Seattle)

I have been using green giants for years and would highly recommend there use as a hedge. they do have some browning on the tips during the winter but it is generaly light and goes away in the spring. the growth rate varies with your light and soil conditions, mine are in heavy clay with only partial sun and have grown an average of 3' a year. they are a beautiful tree- to me every bit as good as thuja plicata. They are a good substitute for leylandii cypruss and are not in most cases as disease prone. They are also extremely drought tolerant once established.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 2:08PM
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beng(z6 western MD)

I've got 10 GGs, and they do not grow as fast as Leyland cypresses do in this area. After 2 1/2 yrs, the tallest is almost 7', but most only 3-4'.

Actually, this is what I wanted -- I didn't want a Leyland screen that would get enormous after a relatively short time.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 12:13PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I'm always surprised when people say they bought bigger trees so they would grow faster. If you read this forum, you will soon find out that the littler fast-growing trees outgrow the bigger trees in no time. The larger trees suffer more transplant shock and usually have a larger percentage of their roots lost with transplant. Folks, unless you need the bigger trees immediately, buy the smaller trees, save lots of money, use much less energy to plant them, and enjoy bigger trees within just a few years.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 5:09PM
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Hi, thanks everyone for your input! Brandon, would normally agree with you, that the smaller size ones establish themselves and grow quicker, but you'll see from my post that things are desperate at our house -- we needed something up fast and didn't want to wait a few years. It was well worth the extra money (and I'm very frugal) and very sore back to get the larger size ones in to have an immediate privacy hedge. The side yard is not an issue and we'll put in smaller ones there. Thanks - Kathy

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 8:47PM
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I'm still trying to figure out why these are nowhere to be found in GA. One grower has them but that's it the rest is leyland and arborvitae. Do they not do well here or something?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 10:01AM
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I just have to chime in on this large VS small tree debate. I get small trees--but not really, really small unless that is all that is available--because that is all I can handle by myself and I don't want to pay for people to come and plant for me.

HOWEVER, I think large trees when dug and planted properly can be much better. I am always observing trees that are planted by commercial establishments, etc. Yes, there are a lot of failures, but I have seen 15 to 20 feet tall trees planted at a new mall (white ash, sugar maple, London plane, red oak, etc.) here and they are doing beautifully, in fact growing faster than most of the smaller trees I had planted at the same time. Mine will never catch up--not even close, and these trees are gorgeous in every way. I hate to admit it, but I am envious. If I had the money to spend on them, I would find out who planted these trees and have them come here are give me an instant arboretum/forest.

Yes, I know it is fun to nurture your own little trees--there is nothing quite like that pleasure, but....

Oh, yes, as for the green giants. I planted three this spring that were about 4 1/2 feet tall. They averaged three feet this first year. I doubt a 12 inch one would have grown as much.


1 Like    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 10:52AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Digsdahlias, I understand what you mean. I didn't get that whole picture from your original post, but I can imagine that need. Best of luck and I hope things work out for you. I know what it's like to have crazy neighbors. (-:

Spruce, if you go to an "average" nursery and get small trees (note we're not talking seedlings, but in the case of GG's, maybe 2' tall) and larger trees (say 6') and plant them out in similar conditions, the 2' trees will almost always pass up the other trees given time. There are a few reasons for this, but the biggest is probably that the percentage of root reduction is much greater on the larger trees. Normal nursery stock of trees in the 6' and greater range usually have a significant percentage of their roots removed. This doesn't mean they won't grow, it just means that on average, smaller trees with most of their root systems can have a big jump on larger trees, missing 90 something percent of their roots. Then, their are emergency cases like Digsdahlia's where instant big trees are a must.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 10:47PM
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For me the bottom line of the bigger tree/smaller tree for planting issue is whether or not transplanting the larger tree will result in an unusual degree of transplant shock or some permanent damage. Here are a few of the factors:

1. Transplant shock. If this can be controlled, the larger tree is better. The long-term effects of transplant shock vary to some degree by species. Some trees weakened by transplant recover remarkably well. I have transplanted many, many Norway spruce of all sizes and with more, or less, of the roots lost. These trees recover fast as if nothing ever happened.

At least some of the oaks do not do so well. I have not transplanted very many oaks compared to NS, but I have seen them really lose vigor for a long time after a bad transplant. Some are best cut back and allowed to regrow from sprouts from the base. So here the smaller tree has some real advantages.

2. Is the larger tree pot-bound with girdling roots. I will take a small bareroot or dug tree any time.

3. In trying to dig and/or plant a tree that is large there is some risk of permanent damage. Cut roots can admit fungi, roots may be left tangled under the root ball, the leader may be broken, and sometimes excessive transplant shock can cause a tree with no vigor to its growth to grow crooked for a few years. Etc.

4. Can you handle a large tree and really transplant it properly? If not, I would say that even if the tree suffers no real damage that is permanent, the excessive transplant shock sets the tree back the equivalent of two to three years growth.

I was for a long time an advocate of smaller trees and most of what you say seems like a quote of things I have said in the past. Maybe now, because I am getting a bit "long in the tooth," so to speak, looking hard to find reasons why I can plant larger trees.

But for me there is a "catch 22." As I get older and lose my once considerable brute strength, I can't handle trees as large as I used to.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 12:01PM
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I love my Thuja 'Green Giant' trees but if I needed an instant hedge, I would either have planted two staggered rows of them with each tree planted from 6-8 feet apart. Other wise I would have at least planted a row of the Thuja 'Steeplechase.' The 'Steeplechase' cultivar is reported to be a sport of 'Green Giant.' It should grow about 3 feet each year, and the new growth fills out better than the 'Green Giant' new growth. The'Steeplechase' cultvar is also reported to have a finer more elegant leaf pattern.

In my experience the growth rate of Thuja 'Green Giant' varies greatly depending on rate of soil drainage and how much winter sun/wind exposure it has to endure.

I planted eight Thuja 'Green Giants' in a row along and infront of my neighbor's termite infested deteriorating privacy fence. Out of all the one gallon potted 'Green Giants' that were about 18 inches tall when I planted them two years ago, only two have failed to grow just, taller than the fence. The smallest of the trees is planted at one end where a deep layer of builders sand was left when the neighbor's house was build. There is also a different neighbor's fast growing red tip photenia roots on the other side of a privacy fence which intersects the bad fence in that area. I have not been able to water the tree daily and so the tree seems to stuggle more from lack of the water and nutrients which either drain away or are robbed too quickly. I have been trying to compost around the area, and in my opinion that is the only thing which keeps the tree alive. One other smaller tree planted on the oposite end of the row has taken longer to establish. Its trunk has thickened nicely but it has only this fall begun to show a nice start of new top growth. I think the reason for its slow establishment is due to the fact that it was a replacement of an originally planted tree which died when my DH cut the bark badly around the trunk,
while he edged the yard. In addition this replacement tree I planted started out as a 4 feet tall potted tree and it is taking longer for its roots to establish enough for it to begin the more agressive 5' a year top growth.

My 'Green Giants' which are now growing at a rate of 5 feet a year are planted in an only 6 inch deep topsoil. Beneath that is a very dense and heavy clay hardpan. The only good thing about that is the fact that the native clay found in our are is a very dark color and full of nutrients which the roots can access when ever the soil gets a soaking rain or watering which softens the hardpan clay.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 2:22PM
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I purchased 3 Green Giant Arborvitae at home depot. 3.5 gallon size. On the tag under the words GREAN GIANT ARBORVITAE it says Thuja serphyllum 'Green Giant'. On the pot it says, Thuja x plicata 'Green Giant'. I can't find any information on what 'serphyllum' means. I'm hoping that this indeed is the fast-growing Green Giant. They came from Hine Horticulture.

Any help would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 6:48PM
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Freedm2, I am not sure if what you have is the "authentic" Green Giant. Everything I have read indicates that the true Green Giant is a cross between Thuja Plicata and Thuja Standishii. I have never heard of serphyllum before though, but maybe an internet search would be helpful.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 4:06PM
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Katrina1, I am curious, and a bit confused. You said you planted 18" Green Giants two years ago? How tall are they now? I just planted about 20 that are approx. 12", and am wondering how long it will take these to start their amazing growth. Since I planted them a couple weeks ago (in October), I must say that I have seen a couple inches grown already (or it could be just wishful thinking?). ;) I really hope these little babies make it though our snow-filled winters though!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 4:15PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

A common garden plant is Thymus serpyllum, doubtless there was a screwup and part of that plant's name got onto the arborvitae tags because both belong to genera starting with T.

T. x plicata is also a mistake for T. plicata. T. plicata is used for 'Green Giant' but it is a hybrid and not a pure T. plicata. Other hybrids are often sold as forms of pure species instead of as hybrids.

T. plicata x T. standishii 'Green Giant' is now commonly available here. Anyone thinking there is a benefit to planting this hybrid (outside of conifer collections) over a pure T. plicata in this, the native region of T. plicata need only go to a nursery where they have both displayed side-by-side and see which is the more attractive and pleasantly aromatic of the two.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 3:38AM
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Root loss is only an issue on B&B stock. Stock that has been pot-grown has not had any root loss at all. You do need to be careful of the B&B stock that is put into a large pot to be sold.

Large potted stock is almost always root bound and for that reason alone, the smaller stock is preferable. If possible, always knock the pot off of the root ball of any nursery stock you intend to purchase to check the condition of the root system. If there is a mass of circling roots, don't purchase the plant.
My .02

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 8:58AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

bboy sez:
and pleasantly aromatic of the two

I dunno Ron, it's hard to imagine anything more fragrant than my GGs. Just working around them brings out the strong orange aroma. The dried foliage makes a great pot-pourri for indoors.

Maybe straight plicata is even more so, but GG isn't lacking in that respect.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 9:20AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Smells like T. occidentalis to me. Comparatively coarse aroma to go with the comparatively coarse foliage. T. standishii is a somewhat strange, sparse thing with poor foliage retention but adapted to hot and wet summers. Crossed with T. plicata it produced an intermediate that provides some of the attributes of T. plicata to those who cannot keep the pure species going well.

I'm not sure a vigorous form of T. occidentalis, such as T. occidentalis 'Aureospicata' would not actually be better for the same situations. In fact, T. 'Green Giant' was mistaken for a T. occidentalis cultivar for quite awhile.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 3:18PM
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"In fact, T. 'Green Giant' was mistaken for a T. occidentalis cultivar for quite awhile" - not by the original breeder, Dr. B. Søegaard of the Danish National Arboretum, who deliberately hybridised the two species in 1950.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 3:42PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Who said I was talking about him?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 10:33PM
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Hibiscusfreak, planted on the north side of a six foot tall fence which is only 5 feet north of the neighbor's two story house, all but the two end Green Giants (Thuja x plicata X Thuja Standishii) are, after 3 years growth only just taller than the height of the 6 foot privacy fence. Some have spread only 2 feet wide, while others have spread about half a foot more.

My trees get a lot of morning shade and plenty of west sun. They seem to be well sheltered from winter winds. I have not yet and will not start until next spring fertilizing them. Since they are planted on a slightly higher part of the hard pan clay with shallow sandy topsoil lot, I did hand water them almost every day during the first two summers and at least 3 times a week in the winter. Only this last summer did I cut back on watering them so often, and opted to begin deep watering less often. Early on this last fall we had a dry spell which made them show some browning, but after noticing that I began to deeply water them with the lawn sprinkler. We also have recently received some nice slow soaking rains and the trees no longer show any early signs of browning.

I know that in the same 3 years, nursery growers could have gotten them to grow taller and more full. Instead, I wanted mine to focus more on root and expanded trunk girth development more than height.

The first year planted my trees they grew about 1 foot, the second year they grew about 1 and 1/2 feet, and this third year they have grown about 3 feet.

From now on, since I will be fertilizing them in the growing seasons, I expect them to begin growing in the 5 feet a year range for at least the next 5 years. After that it remains to be seen how much they continue to grow. I think it is a reasonable goal to ultimately see them grow from 40 - 50 feet tall, and because of their planting spacing maybe only spread about 12-14 feet. Not sure how long their ultimate growth height will take.

The upright fan leaves of these trees seem to shed snow thereby preventing enough snow to collect and weigh them down or break them off. Even freezing rain seems to have trouble building up on the leaf structure enough to weight them down.

One thing to remember with these trees, is you can trim them and the branches should continue to grow out, but any branch you cut or is broken completely off will not grow back. At the point a branch is removed the trunk remains bare. So if you see browning leaves, do not cut them completely off rather give the tree proper care and time to let the tree green that branch up again. The greening will show slightly and hardly noticeable at the beginning of this recovery process.

Remember too that the roots of this tree are fine and if kept water logged will easily rot. So especially while the tree is young, try your best to keep the soil moist while also properly drained. Soggy feet shocks the tree just as quickly and much as dry roots shock the tree.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 12:00PM
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I use diluted copper paint on the inside of my containers to help prevent root circling, you can see the results in the following pictures of a two gallon Green Giant.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 1:45PM
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Starterdude, excellent pics! How old is the one in the second photo?

Katrina1, Thanks for the tips! Holy cow! You haven't fertilized them at all in 3 years and they are that big already?! I am SO anxious to see mine grow like that now!!! Believe it or not, we have nearly the EXACT same situation. Mine are along the north side of a 6 ft privacy fence as well. There are other trees surrounding them that provide some wind protection too. However, where we live (on top of a mountain), it gets VERY windy sometimes, and our soil is chock-full of shale. But where mine are planted there is some good topsoil on top of that. So I am keeping my fingers crossed. I haven't been watering them much at all since planting them last month because we have been getting so much rain -- it rains at least once a week lately. I am getting tempted to put some Miracle Gro on them but not sure if that's necessary (or if it's a good thing or bad thing). Do you have any photos of your Green Giants you can post? I would love to see them! I go out every couple days to check if they are growing believe it or not (I know, I am nuts. LOL!). These are so skimpy though that it seems very hard to image them EVER filling out! How far apart did you plant them?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 4:58PM
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hibiscusfreak, I planted mine about 7 feet apart. I wanted to plant them close enough for them to screen our neighbor's ugly fence in a reasonable amount of time, but also did not want to plant them so close that they looked too crowded. The area would not have looked good for me to plant an alternating staggered two rows of them for even quicker screening.

As is, they are not wide enough to create the screen affect I am wanting. In fact I was tempted, early this summer, to plant a staggered row infront of them. Resisted that temptation though, because I know in time they will spread enough, and then I will be glad I did not thicken the planting area with an added row.

As for the growth of mine and yours. My subsoil is a hardpan dark and fairly fertile clay. The better draining top soil consisting of the same clay mixed with a more sandy topsoil that is only, at most, about10 inches deep. My point, however, is that my trees most likely get more nurtients than trees planted on a mountain region would if there are lots of rocks and boulders not to far down in your planting bed. If so your area's drainage could be considerably faster than mine.

If those factors are true than you most likely should water more frequently than I, and definately apply slow release fertilizers that work well for evergreens. I am wondering if Osmocote or if the Espoma fertilizers, which indicate they are good for evergreens would be a better choice to use on them than Miracle Grow. I know that my acid loving broad leaf evergreens such as Holly do better with the Espoma "Holly Tone" than they do with miracle grow.

On the other hand, for one of my Green Giants planted almost 9 months later than the others and in a spot where more builders sand was left and thicky spread, I am considering lightly working in around the base and layering over the root area about 4 inches of nutrient rich compost. Something has to be done for that tree, because up to now; even though it is still alive, it has only grown a few inches yearly.

It is good your trees are protected from the drying winter winds as well as you describe. Hopefully that keeps the folliage of your trees from turning a rusty brown in the winter like it turns for my friend whose are planted along the south side of her privacy fence. If your trees keep their green better in the winter like mine do, they will be much prettier. I also think that because mine do not winter stress is the reason mine are growing faster and look better than my friend's, I just mentioned.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 10:09AM
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Now I'm not sure I have true Green Giants. I just purchased 30 more from a nursery in GA; these plants do look identical to those I picked up at Home Depot.

Any way I can tell by visual inspection if they are indeed Green Giants vs the non-hybrid source plants?

They have started "bronzing" from the cold as I read most Green Giant's will do.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 10:41AM
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Katrina1, Thanks again for the info and great tips. I do have the Osmocote, and will maybe give that a try in the spring. Sounds like your Green Giants really love your yard! Do you have any pics you can share? I am so anxious about mine growing, I guess I just need to see photos of what they will (hopefully!) look like in a couple years! :)

Freedm2, Do the plants have a nice scent to them? I noticed that the Green Giants I have smell wonderful!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 11:31PM
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Another good screener that doesn't quite have the speed of Green Giant but unlike the GG's, it doesn't bronze, is Thuja occidentalis 'Hetz Wintergreen.' It does grow though (unlike 'Smargd') at least 1.5 to 3 feet per year however depending on all or any of the factors being discussed. Here's a few photos.


Thuja occidentalis 'Hetz Wintergreen' (Eastern White Cedar)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 3:29PM
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Great photos Dax! They are very nice looking.. how wide do they get?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 9:49AM
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I planted 50 GG in April 06 around my property line. They ranged in height from 8-14". Some are in full sun, partial shade, and almost full shade. Those in the full sun have grown about 6-8". Those in the almost full shade only grown about 2". I live in area where there are several large redwood trees and there is not much I can do about the shade issue. The long range plan is for them to be a nice 12' privacy barrier in 10 years.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 5:47PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

This thread looks alittle old. I have had good luck with the Thuja Green Giant Trees. Growth rate was almost 2 ft the first year, 3ft the second and third years.
These were 12" trees with 6" root balls when planted.
7 were in full sun, 2 in partial sun. Soil was black dirt.
I dug 3'x3'x12" ft. holes. I placed slow growth pill into hole, then covered with 6 inches of soil. Placed tree into hole and spread the roots out evenly. Roots were moist. Carefully packed dirt around roots, making sure i left no air pockets for the roots to dry out. Backfilled the rest of the hole. Watered the trees and surrounding area to settle the dirt into place. I made sure that there was NO grass or weeds 3ft in all directions from all the trees. I placed 4 inches of mulch overtop all the dirt to keep weeds from growing, also insulates the soil in the colder months and keeps soil moist in summer. I used NO STRONG FERTILIZER in the FIRST YEAR. I started using a Miracle Grow Solution at the beginning of the second year and will continue using it until the trees are between 10-15 ft. high. Also will continue watering until then also...

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 8:00PM
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I have noticed that many of the nursery's selling the Green Giant Thuja's indicate growing zones 5 thru 9.
I live in Northwestern Montana, zone 4. Has anyone been sucessful growing the GG's in zone 4.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 5:54PM
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I want to know by someone who knows about the different kinds of Thujas. I live in Northeastern North Carolina I need a fast growing trees for privacy. I stumbled on the Green Giant and then the Steeplechase and then I read all this information on GG.I want to know from someone out there who knows from experience what is my best choice for my area. And as far as the cost goes I checked out lots of places on line and the cheapest place so far was on ebay, which I do a lot, shopping there anyways. But anyways what appealed to me about the GG is how fast and the scent.... does Steeplechase grow that fast and I have not heard anything about it's scent.... or show I go with something else all together?

Here is a link that might be useful: PerfectPlant

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 1:43PM
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I bought 15 arborvitae and planted them about a month ago. The little ones (3-4'tall) in the front yard look great. The 5-6' ones and the 8-9' ones in the back yard look horrible. I don't know if they're in transplant shock or dead. They were planted on a burm, but I'm sure they're getting enough water. When do I know for sure they are dead and pull them out? I don't want to pull them out and throw them away if they are in shock and might recover.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 2:30PM
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Just planted 11 more Thuja Plicata 'Green Giant' trees two weeks ago. from what I have seen in the past with GG trees I planted on another lot, the best way to get good privacy with them is to plant them in two rows staggered.

It was good that the backyard that I planted these two staggered rows in was deep enough to accomodate there mature spread as they mature.

the smallest I could get from the nursery were 4 foot tall, 7 gallon GGs in black nursery pots. I planted 6 in the first row and about 5 feet away from aand along a low chain length fence. Then staggered the other 5 in a row 4 feet in front of the first row. I expect them to nearly be spread together in about 3 years, and also to be about 10 feet tall then. The reason I do not expect them to grow taller than that in 3 years from now, is that the soil where they are planted seems to drain quite fast.

It is not sandy soil, but still drained quicky from the holes I dug for planting these trees. GGs like well draining soil, but also seem to need lots of watering episodes before they grow the best.

I have found that letting water drip from tiny holes in the bottom of a five gallon bucket seems to be the best way to water them, if one does not have drip irrigation installed.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 1:39AM
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Can anyone tell me the best time of year to plant Thuja Green Giants in Tucson, Az. Zone 8? From 18" potted to 6' bare root.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 7:37PM
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Beng, Same problem here in Virginia. After a year I might have 1-2" of growth. I just laid down Mircle Grow fertlizer spikes between 23-30" from the base. I'm very dissappointed as I was told they would grow at 1-3' a year. Joe.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 8:03AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Patience, Joe. After 4 seasons, mine (9 of them) are growing reasonably well now -- the best 2'+ a yr. They seem to take some yrs to get established.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 8:22AM
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My Thuja Green Giants, I described near the top of this post, back in Oct of 06 are now 9 to 10 feet tall. The top half of them look fairly thin though, and that indicates to me that I should give them some Osmokote slow release.

In both Spring and fall of 07 they responded well to the Osmokote I gave them, by filling out their top growth better. Since I did not give them Osmokote this spring in 2008 their newer top growth is once again looking pretty thin.

At 9 to 10 feet tall they still have not grown together enough to provide the solid screen I would like.

Basically for people who really want a solid screen created with these trees, I would suggest planting them in an area deep enough where two staggered rows could be planted.

If there is not enough room for that, then instead plant more narrow growing potential trees which can be planted in staggered rows and can be planted much closer together when first planting.

The 11 Thuja Green Giant trees I planted and described in my Aug 07 response to this post receive strong north and south winds. I had to stake them because they otherwise keep getting blown over and uprooted. They have not grown in height much, in the almost 10 months since they have been planted. Still, they seem to be filling out nicely and are not showing a tendency for thin top growth.

I am surprised at how hard of time they are having. It seems like their roots systems are taking a long time to establish firmly enough in the ground for them to not be so easily uprooted and/or blown over by the strong winds.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 9:41AM
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Can anyone tell me why the ends of some branches are drying up on this Thuja? The temperature is around 105F in the afternoons, but I water it using a soaker hose for 2 hours about every third day at night. It has been in the ground for six weeks and I just noticed this today. I really don't want to lose this tree. It has never been fertilized. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 8:36PM
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Here are some better pix showing where on the tree and closeup. Could it be too much/little water or too intense sun 10 hours a day. It has not rained in over 6 weeks. The red tips make me wonder about too much sun. Please help! See next post for 2 more pics.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 4:24PM
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This small branch was completely dried out near the bottom of the tree. There is mulch around the tree if the prairie dogs don't dig it up to keep cool after watering!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 4:36PM
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The 50 GG I planted in in april 2006 are still all alive. Those in full sun have done the best. Those in shade have done little, but continue to show signs of growth. I have not fertilized them as of yet, but thinking maybe it might be time for a boost.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 11:05PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

no need to fertilize them ... if you THINK there is a problem with the soil ... then get a SOIL test.. and take appropriate action.. otherwise.. conifers.. trees.. and shrubs.. will find what they need in the soil... and if they are anywhere near a fertilized lawn.. they will work their way to the fertilizer .... IMHO .. tree spikes are snake oil ...

norwood ... the damage pictured .. is or might be two things ...

first.. sunburn .. is your yard EXACTLY the same sun as the place you bought them from? .. probably not ... nothing you are going to do about that ... unless you can rig up some shade ...

second ... is there water in the root zone ... whatever your watering protocol ... dig a small hole.. and insure that water is getting down into the rootball zone ... and then draining away ... too much water is as bad as too little ... there is no magic number of hours.. since only you have your soil.. and only you can figure out if the water is getting where the water is needed ...

the best time in north america to plant is early spring. or fall ... not july and august .... simply due to the heat.. and the potential problems you are seeing... if properly watered.. no matter what superficial problems you see.. they will survive.. if zone appropriate ...

a good layer of mulch to keep the soil cooler and damper would be money better spent, rather than fertilizer ....

and... from a bit further upon the replies... you really didnt expect 1 to 3 feet of growth the second year .. did you???? as noted.. patience ...

some further thoughts. and pix of my GG at the link below ...

good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: gg

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 9:17AM
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I planted 20 GG's that I bought online last September. They were about 3 feet tall. They got planted 5 feet apart, in 18 inch holes, ground is clay, and they have about 5 inches of mulch, with a basin around the root ball. At first, I wasn't watering them and they were starting look bad. I quickly began to water them heavily, 2-3 times a week through the fall months. I used a root stimulator when planted, and again, in early spring. I put about 4 tablespoons of Osmocote on each tree in April, and drove a fertilizer spike into the ground between each tree. They really took off in July, and most have grown 20-30 inches already. At their current rate, I'm expecting 3-5 feet of growth during the first year.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 3:31PM
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Thanks Ken. I was just hoping for 1 foot of growth per year.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 10:22PM
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I would say growth is similar to a blue spruce. Nothing that special, just hyped up so they sell alot. Even a ginkgo can grow fast under perfect conditions, and someone babying it. But most people don't baby their plants, so this tree isn't going to grow super fast. With saying that, I'm going to buy more though, a nice evergreen....

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 11:39PM
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does anyone have pics of "steeplechase's" after a year of growth if like me you planted them at the 5' size

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 6:33PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Conical conifers become narrower as you go up their tops so you have to wait longer for a sold wall above a comparatively low level than you would with a broad-leaved evergreen screen. Their bases merge long before the upper part of the hedge fills in; the upper part may not completely block out the unwanted view until the hedge is quite tall and the upper part has become part of the lower part - at which point the hedge may begin to loom over its surroundings and enter the "Too tall" zone of perception.

When planting shrubs in defined areas such as beds the height that looks right is 1 1/2 times the width of the bed or space at that point. A 2' wide strip looks good with shrubs 3' high in it, and so on. Above that you are starting to get into Too Tall and Overgrown territory. A 30'+ x 10' conifer hedge along a property line can be quite overpowering unless in a large and open area.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:18PM
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I think the Green Giant is a great tree, just don't by it from The trees they send are about 1/4 the size of the tree they show in there sample picture. The Better Business Bureau give them a giant F with a warning. Look them up at the BBB by their phone number. I support the tree. I just don't want anyone to make the same mistake I made. I think the Green Giant is a great tree, just don't by it from The trees they send are about 1/4 the size of the tree they show in there sample picture. The Better Business Bureau give them a giant F with a warning. Look them up at the BBB by their phone number. I support the tree. I just don't want anyone to make the same mistake I made. I am trying to spread the word. Has any one else been cheated by this company. They will not answer email or phone messages after you pay.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:55AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)


You should enter your comments on Garden Watchdog. That would be the most effective way to spread your message!

You should also check Garden Watchdog BEFORE placing your orders. Thuja Garden's rating is OK but not super. Next time order from a nursery with a great reputation. There are plenty of them out there.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 2:04PM
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i am in LI, NY, south shore and I need to get some privacy in my backyard the sooner the better. I am reading a lot about the Green Giant and the Thuja Steeplechase trees.

the backyard is completely open. i need to plant the trees along the north side of my neighbors both have a deck from their split ranch and look right into my backyard. i also want to make sure the trees are providing the screen throughout the winter.

any suggestions on the better tree for my situation and where to purchase?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 11:46AM
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Limom I would recommend the Murray cypress or thuja green giant for the quickest and most hastle free screen. Nellie Steven Hollies are great too but are hard to find! I have no experiance with Steeplechase.. cannot find any available. If you go with green giants just remember to plant 4-5 feet apart. The Cypress are wide and 6 foot apart is great. Avoid leyland cypress and buy Murray cypress in the 1 gallon pot from He sells the Murray for 5 bucks a pop in the 1 gallon with free shipping. Just email him.. great trees!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 11:01PM
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Hello all,
I am new to this site but I love it! Anyway, my neighbor behind me is building a huge garage that is 10 feet from my property line. It is thus far at least 12 feet high and the roof will probably add another 6 feet or so. It is what I look at from my the back of my house and patio and thus I want to screen it. I am attaching a link that hopefully will show a picture of my view.

I have read hundreds of posts thus far on this site regarding leylands, little giants, white pines, excelsa cypress etc. but I wanted to present my unique situation (how much coverage, location, timeframe etc.) and get feedback.

I really want something fast growing which has led me to the trees above. Leylands look pretty (from pics) but also scare me (from some of the pics you all have posted!). Thuja little giant seem to be a good choice and I haven't seen any real drawbacks except they won't grow as fast as Leyland? White pine was another fast grower I've seen but I'm not as crazy about the pyramid shape (less coverage up top which is where I need it.) Excelsa Cypress was something I saw but I don't really know much about it.

I will run the trees at least 30 feet wide along the property line to cover the garage from various angles but will likely want to run them another 30 feet to the left along the fence to cover up their house and backyard and pool area. I am willing to pay for at least 6 footers (maybe more) since the view is so bad. So based on the fact that I want fast screenage at least 18 feet tall, I live in PA zone 6, and I don't care what they look like 20 years from now, what would be your suggestion? Thanks!!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 3:20PM
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Whoops, sorry for the dupe post. I created a new thread instead. Sorry!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 3:29PM
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I just purchased a dozen of these green giant trees. My intentions are to plant them on the back side of my fence as a privacy screen. I just got to thinking; some of these trees will be planted only about 10 feet from my septic lines. Is this a problem? I know some trees, oaks for example are ok to be by septic lines, since the roots go deep, I am unsure about these green giant trees. An accurate response is greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 7:44AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

a new post would also be appreciated ....

i would not plant a tree that can get 50 feet tall within 50 feet of my septic

you can research the accuracy of said comment yourself .... why would i waste time giving you an inaccurate answer??? lol


    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 9:40AM
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Two years ago I purchased 150 GG on line. When the one box showed up I was a little dismayed. It appeared to me someone was sending a box, with what could only contain a dozen roses to my wife, and it was not me. I was happy when I opened the box and did not find roses or a card ~disappointed when I realized it was my complete 150 GG order that resembled a box of small green bare root feathers.

Now 2 years later only one has died and the others do vary in size even though they were all treated equally. The average height is mid-thigh and they are thin but healthy looking.

Last fall I gave them their first dose of 10-10-10 and just recently gave them a dose of 12-12-12. I am hopeful that they are now "established" and ready to deliver the anticipated growth spurt I am longing to see . I planted the trees as border trees on a clear cut lot that gets lots of sun and wind. The soil is sandy but I prepared the border planting areas w/ loam and mulch.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 8:33PM
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I planted 9 of these that were about 3' tall in October 09. None months later they have grown a few inches. The first year they are growing roots to become established. I have a drip irrigation system and mulch around the base. Hopefully they will start growing faster next spring 2011. I'll check back in. I found the green giants at, Bill was very helpful and knowledgeable about how to plant etc.
Also, I noticed home centers discount shrubs around the end of Sept if you have a way to pick them up.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:14PM
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Nobody has posted in this thread for some time, I hope someone sees my message.

We planted 2 8ft. Green Giant thujas 18 months ago. They were planted properly following all instructions. They are about 4ft. from the neighbors fence which gives them protection. Ever since they were planted they have been nursed along with loving care, I did give them a bit of fertilizer 14-14-14 slow release in March last year, but this year I will feed them properly measuring the trunk as to how much they need exactly. They were watered properly and no weeds have been allowed to grow for three feet all around them.

BUT, wait for it.... They have not budged an INCH in growth!!

They looked very healthy all last year, but now after the winter they have browned a little, more of a brown sheen, not withered, (although they don't look as full as they did in summer) the leaves are still very shiny, almost waxy looking. Like everyone else we were hoping for rapid growth for privacy, this is very disappointing. Any tips please?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 6:07PM
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Update on the Thuja Green Giants. Mine did have some browning during the winter. In MA we had enough snow to cover the shrubs and I did nothing to them. My neighbors lost their american arborvitae because they split from the snow. The brown fell off by late spring and with some watering they have grown to 7+ feet measuring the wispy top.
Starting with 3 foot plants in October 09 they grew less than a foot the first year but have grown about 3 feet over the last year. I hammered some vigoro tree and shrub stakes in the ground a few feet away and between them the last 2 springs. Watering is important and if you have many then drip irrigation is the way to go.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 11:15AM
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I purchased 14 Green Giants online in spring of 2010. They were all about 5ft tall when planted in spring along a SE fence about 4 ft apart and 5 ft from fense. They were all planted on a knoll I built up because of drainage problems in the spring. The knoll was about 2 ft tall and 5 ft across running the length of the fence line. The soil is pretty much all heavy clay, but I added some topsoil to the knoll that I had delivered from a local supplier.

In the first summer I noticed very little growth but they did fill out some at the base. The second spring, 2011, I was worried because we got more rain than usual, pretty much torrential rains in the spring. I had flooding problems in the back of my yard but the knoll I built seemed to help because they all made it through pretty much the worst wet season I have seen here.

Midway through the second summer now, 2011, and I have to say Im impressed. I was also skeptical as to their supposed growth rate, but all of them pretty much shot up 2-3 ft of new growth. I water them about 1-2 times a week because it has been dry here lately, and I have sprayed them down with some miracle grow once as well. I will check back in in a few years.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 2:04PM
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Green giants should be watered for a couple of years after planting to make sure they are well established. After that, they seem to be rather drought resistant. I have good deep soils here, and last year here we officially had an "extreme" drought, and it was long-lasting. I did not give my Green Giants a speck of water and they did fine.

But continued watering will probably help them grow faster, but these things are tough, and for their overall health, they don't need any water here, even in extreme drought conditions. Also, the eight hottest days here averaged 100 degrees, with one day up to 103--no observable adverse effect on these trees.

Mine have averaged about three feet per year for the first 6 years or so, but since they have slowed down. If they kept on growing at 3 feet per year for 30 years, they would be 90 feet tall. If they eventually get that tall, or anywhere near that tall, it will take a long time.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 12:31PM
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I'll add my experience. Since I live in NC close to them I drove over and bought 20 GG from Thuja Gardens in March 2011. Mine were the 2-3' tall ones which means they were actually 18" once you account for the height of the pot. Anyway I planted mine along my back fence in partial shade conditions with a few hours of late afternoon sun. I added 3 more slightly larger plants from Lowes in early June. All were planted in holes ammended with Black Kow.

Since planting them I have watered them about once a week and added a handful of 10-10-10 in late May. So far they have done very well averaging about 14" of new growth in 3 months. Based on everything I have read and my experience I would say that regular watering is critical to establishing them and getting good growth rates. Some growers suggest that you cannot overwater these trees. I also read that they are only semi dormant in winter and will grow anytime the temps get above 55 degrees so make sure they have water then or expect winter kill desiccation.

They should also be pruned to have only one main leader and also to help them fill out more. Don't let them get too leggy and always fertilize in the spring never the fall--nitrogen added late in the season will result in too much late growth that will not harden off in time for winter and is likely to winter kill.

A lot of folks here have written of problems losing larger trees due to transplant shock and my neighbor behind me has just gone through that. She planted 22 6' tall GG in June and has lost 7 with more developing brown tips. She doesn't water often enough and when she does she mainly just sprays water on them, not enough to even get down through the mulch layer. A lot of folks seem to think that larger trees have more roots and dont need a much water but the reverse is true since they have a lot more leaf area to lose water from. Enjoy your GGs and remember they are thirsty little buggers!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 5:02PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)


For future planting endeavors, don't amend your backfill soil with Black Kow (or, if you do so, amend very very lightly). I know it sounds like you are doing them a favor, but you really aren't. It has been widely demonstrated through numerous studies that backfill amendment, for trees and shrubs, almost never has a positive effect and frequently introduces root system development and drainage problems. Whether you are planting in pure sand, pure clay, or something in between, amendment is probably not the answer.

Also, I wonder why you are fertilizing your GG's. Unless you have done soil tests and found that your site is short on all three major nutrients, you are probably wasting your money and possibly even making conditions a little worse for your trees. The legginess you mentioned may be one indication of improper fertilization.

GG's are more tolerant of overwating than many other trees, but they are not swamp trees and should be watered and sited with that in mind.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 9:25PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I forgot to add, you might find the link below helpful...

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting a Tree or Shrub

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 9:28PM
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First, I have a PhD in biology, majored in botany for my BS, managed a greenhouse in college, worked as a research scientist for the Dept Interior for over 30 years and have more than a passing knowledge about plant growth. In addition I followed the growers suggestions for amending the soil specifically with Black Kow which is a composted cow manure that provides increased organic matter to the root zone and acts as a very slow release fertilizer for the plants. My soil is sandy loam and can use additional organic matter. As for the small amount of added fertilizer, if you want to get the type of growth rates that GG is capable of then you need to feed them--every nursery I've ever seen them at has added fertilizer to the soil/potting medium. A good slow release fertilizer added in the spring will provide the needed nutrients that may or may not be there in most soils, especially on subdivision lots that have been stripped of their natural organic layer and true soil. Just don't add fertilizer after July as this can cause too much new growth which won't have tome to harden off in the fall before freezes hit and can be killed back. As for water, I would bet you that more of these trees die from lack of water than too much except in rare cases where they are planted in poorly drained soils in low areas where water collects.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 11:27AM
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PS--my 20 trees have grown an average of 14" during the first 3 months of their first year and there isn't a brown or yellow tip on any of them. I also have 3 leyland cypress planted among them that have been treated the same way for over a year and they have grown over 3' in a year.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 11:38AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Wow Oikos! I'm surprised that with all that education you don't seem to be more familiar with all the studies and research on soil amendment. Surely your aware of Whitcomb's work, which is just one of many studies addressing this topic. His work, as well as the work of many others, consistently show no benefit to soil amendment, including in sandy soil. Even in the initial first year (which shouldn't be one's only concern when planting trees for themselves or long-term customers), the vast majority of studies don't show any benefit from amendment of backfill soil.

I also find it odd that you confuse fertilizing containerized plants with fertilizing plants grown in the ground in natural soil. The comparison is not just apples and oranges, but apples and....well, plastic fruit. It's not even close to being the same thing!

Growers suggestions are frequently not worth the paper they are written on. This is pretty widely understood in the horticultural community. Some growers actually do try to keep up with the science available to the industry, but many simply rely on the myths they've heard over the years and never bother to really check to see whether what they've heard is worth passing on to others. Some people believe following grower's instructions are important from a warranty standpoint, but I suggest that if the grower insist on a detrimental practice, it's time to look for another grower. Short-term warranties are not really the answer to long-term enjoyment of a tree.

I'd bet you are correct about the relative amount of GG's that die from over- and under-watering, hence my statement in that last post. Guess you could say too much of a good thing is almost never good.

BTW, I noticed your screenname. Do you have any connection to Ken A, or is the screenname coincidental?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:46PM
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when freshly planted do they need any fertilizing?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:28PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

dan.. if you started your own post.. the replies would come back to you.. and not the OP..



    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 5:06PM
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A couple years ago I read this thread while looking for a privacy screen solution.

I decided to give the green giants a try and planted 3 to cover up my shed on the side of my house. Since I really couldn't find a documentary on growth per year, I decided to take a photo each year and post it on my blog. See link below.

I will be updating this information next month and will provide the latest growth results for the 2012-2013 year.

So far, they are growing at a moderate rate but I expect growth to increase in the next year or so.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growth of the thuja green giant

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:58PM
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Seems like time for an update on my GG's. During the firt year I watered them weekly, about 2 gals each. That year they grew an average of 22". Not bad for a first year since they had to establish a root system and adjust to the site conditions but the regular water and Black Kow seemed to help. 2012 was a slow year due to drought conditions but I did provide some supplemental water when things got real dry in late summer. They only managed an average of 9.8" that year. 2013 was a pretty wet year but growth only picked up a little over 2012--they put on an average 11.3". So for the 3 year period they have grown an average of about 46" or about 15"/yr. Most are now about 5' tall with a couple over 6'.

Obviously that doesn't come close to the 3'/yr claims you see, but my trees are not in full sun and for the last couple years have had to depend mostly on mother nature for their water. I also suspect that had they been plants with fully developed roots instead of recently rooted cuttings their growth would have been greater. I strongly believe that the supplmental watering I provided the first year resulted in not losing a single tree out of the 20 I planted. As a side note I also have 3 Leyland cypress that I planted in the same area in 2010 which have now grown about 9' since planting--2 are over 12' tall now. If it weren't for all the problems associated with them I would have planted more and they do seem to be able to outgrow the GG's under the same conditions in my back yard.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Last year after doing some homework on a privacy screen, I decided to give the GGs a shot. I called the nearby nursery (live NW suburb by Chicago), they wanted $300 dollars for each 4 foot GG. I was shocked at the price. I needed roughly 100 to surround my back yard. So I bought 27 online (small ones) initially in late spring June of 2013) and decided to see how hardy and fast growing. In the fall of 2013 we decided to buy the rest and plant them as well. I was a bit surprised at how small they came--4 to 6 inches tall and everyone laughed after I planted them. We had a VERY hard winter with record snowfall and most seemed to have survived. The GGs that we planted in the spring have doubled in size--roughly all of them are at least 12 inches tall. I plan on putting some pics on this site at the one year anniversary (end of June). When we planted and one year later.
I did not expect any growth for a year since I read that their roots have to get established, so am happy so far at any growth. I am hoping that by 2016 I will have a privacy fence of about 9 feet. I would love to let them grow and top them at around 15 to 20 feet. I will keep you posted.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 6:32PM
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silver78(Z7 MD)

Our home is about 14 years old and we have three green giants on our property. They are huge now. Perhaps 30 feet tall. Additionally several of our neighbors bought either Leyland Cypress or some form of Arborvitae as screens around the neighborhood. Most of them were planted between 10 and 14 years ago. Some general observations follow.

One of our neighbors (the rich one) bought big ones that were planted by a local landscaper. While they are fine now he had a lot of trouble with them in the early years as some of them fell over in severe weather. Based on my observation I think that smaller is better when transplanting this type of tree. I think conifers are more likely to have tipping issues than say a maple or oak. Thus having a well established root system is very important. Another neighbor planted really small ones. They were only two feet tall when she planted them. While they were no effective as a screen in the early years I was surprised at how they popped up after they were well established. I think it took 3-4 years so it wasn't instant screen but they did not have any tipping or maintenance problems and it looks great now. Most of us bought something in between - say 6 to 8 foot tall BnB specimens. They worked fine. There were a few examples of tipping in the first year or two but not like the guy who planted big ones. In the end I think I would lean to the smaller side if I had to do it over again unless you have the bad neighbor problem like the original poster. But if you do plant bigger ones perhaps consider staking them because unless you are very lucky you will have some that tip over in severe weather.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 5:13AM
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I planted 11 Thuja's. 6 at 3 foot and the rest were those 12" starters. It's been 7 years now. The 6 three footers are now about 15 feet tall and the five 12" ones are about 10-12 feet tall,

I planted the 6 in front as a privacy screen, but only 4 feet apart, and they do make a great wall now, but I'm thinking I planted them too close together? Does anyone know if they will stop growing soon because of this placement?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 12:22AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


the post is about GGiants

you say you have thuja ... and based on the growth in seven years.. i doubt yours are GGs

you may or may not be talking about the same plant ..

if they are not GGs ... then you should have started your own post...

regardless .. conifers as trees ... NEVER stop growing .. EVER

if they do.. they are dead ...


    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 9:28AM
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Virginia Mike Lemme take a shot at this...
Thank you for posting your experience with the thuja's. Based upon the growth rate, it appears you trees may not be GG. If you can verify that they aren't, I'd suggest posting your question on a new thread as you may not get the right answer on this thread. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:05PM
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This is where I bought them.

And they DO look like the picture they have shown.
Why? Are they growing to slow here?

Here is a link that might be useful: Green Giant Thuja

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 1:17AM
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Update from my last post in June of 2014. I planted GG that were roughly 4 to 6" tall in june of 2013. I did not think they would survive because they were not what I was expecting. So did not really give them much thought. Planted them around grass and left them. To my surprise they lived and started to grow. At the end of Oct. 2014 they are all about 28 to 32" tall. I will see how this growing season goes, but so far so good......

After I started seeing this growth, I ripped up the grass and added mulch to give them a chance to grow even faster and stronger. So the growth you are seeing was 1.5 years.

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 11:50AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

'Green Giant' produces a tree of some size, hence the name. That strip of bed right next to the fence isn't going to be nearly big enough.

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 1:10PM
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Mark Leach

Have a lot of land that I don't plan on using for at least 5 years thought that it makes sense to buy the cheaper small GG instead of the more expensive 1 gallon trees. will these 12 inch plants establish roots faster?

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 4:34PM
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beng12(z6 west Md)

Mine were 10-12 inches at first. After 10 seasons avg ~15-20' tall'. More compact and better behaved than Leyland cypresses. Below they line the road behind the VA pine:

    Bookmark   last Friday at 6:13AM
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Mark, the general answer is yes, smaller transplants suffer less transplant shock and often go on to establish themselves faster. Other factors can come into play. Sometimes, if you're working in a very weedy, wild and woolly environment, slightly larger starter plants can make sense. That's the case in some of the native restoration work I do-the site will never receive the level of maintenance of say, someone's yard, and it seems to help to get whatever it is you're planting up above at least some of this weed layer to begin with. And there's no accounting for happenstance-you can do everything right but you may not be able to control some factor which shows up later, skewing the results. But yes, in general, smaller is better.

All that said, conifers, and certainly arborvitaes, move easily in larger sizes. Their normal root system architecture is flat and wide. So there's no reason not to plant larger, if it serves some specific need of yours, say, faster screening, etc.


    Bookmark   last Friday at 6:30AM
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