How To Plant Thuja Green Giant [ Full Guide ]

Thuja Green Giant is a popular choice for creating fast-growing, privacy hedges and windbreaks due to its rapid growth, low maintenance, and dense foliage. However, successful planting and growth of Thuja Green Giant requires careful consideration of several factors, including the planting location, soil conditions, and proper care techniques. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of planting Thuja Green Giant and provide the essential information needed for ensuring its healthy establishment and long-term growth.

Thuja Green Giant, scientifically known as Thuja standishii x plicata, is a hybrid of Japanese arborvitae and western red cedar. This evergreen coniferous tree is prized for its pyramidal form, vibrant green foliage, and ability to thrive in various climate zones. When planted in the right conditions, it can reach impressive heights of 25 to 30 feet with a spread of 8 to 10 feet within just a few years.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Thuja Green Giant

Before diving into the detailed steps, here is a quick outline of how to plant Thuja Green Giant:

  1. Choose the right location: Select a site with well-drained soil, full to partial sun exposure, and enough space for the tree’s mature size.
  2. Prepare the soil: Amend the soil with organic matter and ensure proper drainage.
  3. Select healthy nursery plants: Look for vigorous, disease-free plants with well-established root systems.
  4. Planting: Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and at the same depth. Position the tree, backfill, and water thoroughly.
  5. Aftercare: Mulch around the base, provide regular watering during the establishment phase, and monitor for signs of stress or disease.

Now, let’s delve into each of these steps in greater detail.

Choosing The Right Location For Planting

The success of planting Thuja Green Giant largely depends on selecting an appropriate location that meets its environmental requirements. Consider the following factors when choosing the planting site:


Thuja Green Giant thrives in full to partial sun exposure. It should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to ensure healthy growth and dense foliage. While it can tolerate some shade, prolonged periods of low light may result in decreased vigor and density of the tree.

Soil Drainage

Good drainage is crucial for the health of Thuja Green Giant. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and may struggle in waterlogged or compacted soil. Ensure that the planting site does not retain water for extended periods, as this can lead to root rot and other moisture-related problems.


Consider the mature size of Thuja Green Giant when choosing a planting location. Ensure that there is enough space for the tree to grow to its full height and spread without crowding other plants or structures. Proper spacing will also allow for adequate air circulation, which is essential for preventing disease and promoting healthy growth.

Climate Adaptability

Thuja Green Giant is highly adaptable and can thrive in a wide range of climates, from USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9. It is tolerant of heat, cold, and drought once established, making it suitable for many regions. However, it may suffer in extremely arid or maritime climates, so it’s essential to consider the specific climate conditions of your area when selecting a planting site.

Soil Preparation And Requirements

After choosing the planting location, the next critical step is to prepare the soil to provide an optimal environment for Thuja Green Giant to establish and thrive. Consider the following soil preparation guidelines:

Soil Type

Thuja Green Giant prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. It can tolerate a variety of soil textures, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils, as long as they are well-drained. Conduct a soil test to determine the pH and nutrient levels of the planting site, and make any necessary adjustments to create a suitable growing environment.

Soil Amendments

Incorporate organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, into the soil before planting. This helps improve soil structure, fertility, and drainage, providing a favorable growing medium for the tree. Work the amendments into the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches to ensure proper distribution and integration.

Soil Drainage

Ensure that the planting site offers adequate drainage by amending heavy clay soils and addressing any areas prone to waterlogging. Raised beds or mounds can be created to improve drainage in poorly draining soil. Proper drainage is essential for preventing root suffocation and rot, which can severely impact the health of Thuja Green Giant.

Selecting Healthy Nursery Plants

Choosing high-quality, healthy nursery plants is crucial for the successful establishment of Thuja Green Giant. Look for the following attributes when selecting nursery stock:

Vigorous Growth

Choose plants with vibrant, healthy foliage and vigorous growth. Avoid specimens that exhibit stunted growth, yellowing foliage, or other signs of stress, as they may struggle to establish and thrive in the landscape.

Well-Developed Root System

Inspect the root system of the nursery plants to ensure they are well-developed and free from damage or disease. Healthy roots are essential for the tree to take up nutrients and water, establish in the new planting site, and support vigorous growth.

Disease Resistance

Select Thuja Green Giant plants that show no signs of common diseases, such as fungal infections or pest infestations. Disease-resistant varieties are better equipped to withstand environmental challenges and are less likely to require intensive management.

Seasonal Timing

Purchase nursery plants during the appropriate planting season, which is typically in early spring or fall. Planting during these times provides the tree with favorable conditions for root establishment and reduces the stress associated with transplanting.

Planting Thuja Green Giant can be a rewarding endeavor when done with careful consideration of the tree’s requirements and proper planting techniques. By choosing the right location, preparing the soil, and selecting healthy nursery plants, you can set the stage for a thriving and vibrant green giant in your landscape. Remember to provide adequate aftercare, including regular watering, mulching, and monitoring for signs of stress or disease, to support the tree’s establishment and long-term growth. With the right approach, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of Thuja Green Giant as it matures into a striking addition to your outdoor space.

Tools And Materials Needed For Planting

Thuja Green Giant (Thuja plicata) is a popular and fast-growing evergreen tree that is often used for privacy screens, windbreaks, or as a focal point in the landscape. With its dense foliage and rapid growth rate, it can quickly provide privacy and shade.

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Before getting started with planting Thuja Green Giant, make sure you have the following tools and materials on hand:

  1. Thuja Green Giant trees
  2. Shovel or garden spade
  3. Garden rake
  4. Compost or organic matter
  5. Garden hose or watering can
  6. Mulch
  7. Pruning shears
  8. Fertilizer

Step-by-Step Planting Instructions

  1. Site Selection: Choose an area in your garden or yard that receives full sun to partial shade and has well-draining soil. Thuja Green Giant is adaptable to various soil types but prefers moist, fertile soil.

  2. Prepare the Soil: Begin by clearing the planting area of any existing vegetation, including weeds or grass. Use a shovel or garden spade to dig a hole approximately two times wider and the same depth as the root ball of the Thuja Green Giant tree. Break up any compacted soil in the hole and remove any large rocks or debris.

  3. Amend the Soil: To improve the soil’s fertility and drainage, incorporate compost or organic matter into the backfilled soil. Mix it thoroughly with the existing soil to create a nutrient-rich planting bed for your Thuja Green Giant.

  4. Planting the Tree: Carefully remove the Thuja Green Giant tree from its container, being mindful not to damage the roots. Place the tree in the center of the prepared hole, making sure the top of the root ball is level with or slightly above the soil surface. Backfill the hole with the amended soil, gently firming it around the roots to eliminate any air pockets. Avoid compacting the soil too tightly, as this can hinder root growth.

  5. Watering: After planting, thoroughly water the Thuja Green Giant tree to help settle the soil and ensure good root-to-soil contact. Use a garden hose or watering can to provide deep watering, allowing the water to penetrate the soil to a depth of at least one foot. This initial watering is crucial for establishing the tree’s root system.

  6. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the Thuja Green Giant tree, extending it out to the dripline. Mulch helps to conserve soil moisture, suppress weed growth, and regulate soil temperature. Use organic mulch such as wood chips or bark, and apply it to a depth of 2-4 inches, being careful not to pile it against the trunk.

  7. Staking (if necessary): In some cases, young Thuja Green Giant trees may require staking to provide support and stability. If your tree appears unstable, use two or three wooden stakes placed equidistantly around the tree. Attach the tree loosely to the stakes using soft tree ties or nylon straps. Check the stakes periodically and remove them once the tree has established a strong root system.

Watering And Fertilization Tips

Proper watering and fertilization are essential for the healthy growth and development of Thuja Green Giant. Here are some tips to ensure your tree thrives:

  1. Watering: Water your Thuja Green Giant deeply and infrequently, providing approximately 1 inch of water per week, either through natural rainfall or manual irrigation. When watering, ensure the moisture reaches the tree’s root zone, which is typically located within the top 12-18 inches of soil. Deep watering encourages the tree’s roots to grow deep, making it more resistant to drought.

  2. Drought Tolerance: Although Thuja Green Giant is relatively drought-tolerant once established, it is vital to provide supplementary water during prolonged dry spells, especially during the first few years after planting.

  3. Fertilization: Thuja Green Giant is a moderately heavy feeder, meaning it requires regular fertilization to maintain optimal growth. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring, before new growth begins. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application rates and techniques. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive growth and weak branches.

  4. Fertilizer Selection: Look for a fertilizer with an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) ratio specifically formulated for evergreen trees. It should have a higher nitrogen content (first number) to promote healthy foliage growth.

  5. Fall Fertilization: In regions with mild winters, a fall application of fertilizer can also be beneficial. This helps to fortify the tree’s roots and prepares it for the following growing season. Again, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper application rates and timing.

Pruning And Maintenance Of Thuja Green Giant

To maintain the health and appearance of your Thuja Green Giant tree, regular pruning and maintenance are necessary. Follow these guidelines for proper care:

  1. Pruning timing: Thuja Green Giant can be pruned at any time of the year, but it is best to avoid severe pruning during the hot summer months, as this can stress the tree. It is preferred to prune in late winter or early spring before the tree starts actively growing.

  2. Dead and Diseased Branches: Begin by inspecting your tree for any dead, broken, or diseased branches. Trim these branches back to a healthy section using sharp pruning shears or loppers. Dispose of the removed branches properly.

  3. Shaping and Thinning: To promote a well-defined shape and maintain the density of your Thuja Green Giant, selectively prune the branches to thin out crowded areas. Use the "scissor-cut" technique, removing branches at their point of origin rather than leaving stubs.

  4. Avoid Over-Pruning: Avoid excessive pruning, as this can lead to permanent damage and weaken the tree’s overall structure. Thuja Green Giant typically maintains a natural, pyramidal shape, so only prune to maintain its desired size or remove any undesirable branches.

  5. Regular Maintenance: Regularly monitor your Thuja Green Giant tree for signs of pests or diseases. Common issues include spider mites, bagworms, and fungal diseases. Early detection allows for prompt treatment, minimizing potential damage to your tree.

Planting and caring for Thuja Green Giant can be a rewarding experience that adds beauty, privacy, and shade to your landscape. By following these step-by-step planting instructions and implementing proper watering, fertilization, pruning, and maintenance techniques, you can ensure the healthy growth and longevity of your Thuja Green Giant trees. With their fast growth rate and stunning evergreen foliage, these trees are an excellent addition to any garden or yard.

Protecting Against Pests And Diseases

Thuja Green Giant (Thuja standishii x plicata) is a fast-growing evergreen tree that has become increasingly popular among gardeners and landscapers. This hybrid of the Japanese arborvitae and western red cedar exhibits stunning qualities, such as its ability to grow up to three feet per year, its pest and disease resistance, and its dense foliage. Planting Thuja Green Giant requires careful consideration and proper technique to ensure the tree’s health and long-term success.

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One of the significant advantages of Thuja Green Giant is its natural resilience to pests and diseases. However, to ensure optimal growth and development, it is essential to take preventive measures against potential infestations or infections. Here are some recommended strategies:

1. Soil Preparation

Before planting Thuja Green Giant, it is crucial to prepare the soil properly. Start by removing any weeds or existing vegetation from the planting area. This will help prevent competition for nutrients and minimize the risk of harboring pests.

Next, conduct a soil test to determine its pH level and composition. Thuja Green Giant thrives in well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH level (around 6.0 to 7.0). If the soil pH is too high or low, amend it accordingly by adding sulfur or lime.

2. Mulching

Applying a layer of organic mulch around the base of your Thuja Green Giant can help retain moisture and deter weeds, reducing the likelihood of pest infestations. Additionally, certain organic mulches, like cedar chips, can naturally repel insects due to their strong aroma.

When mulching, ensure the material is spread evenly around the tree, beginning a few inches away from the trunk and extending out to the drip line. Be careful not to pile the mulch against the trunk, as this can create a moist environment that encourages rot and pests.

3. Proper Watering

Established Thuja Green Giants are relatively drought-tolerant. However, newly planted trees require adequate moisture to establish a healthy root system. Water the tree deeply at the time of planting and continue to provide regular irrigation during the first growing season.

Avoid overwatering, as saturated soil can lead to root rot and attract pests. Instead, water deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions.

4. Regular Inspections

Regularly inspect your Thuja Green Giant for signs of pests or diseases. Be on the lookout for common issues such as bagworms, spider mites, or fungal infections.

If you notice any signs of infestation or disease, promptly address the issue through appropriate pest control measures. Organic insecticides or horticultural oils are often effective in controlling common pests without harming beneficial insects.

Dealing With Common Planting Mistakes

Despite its resilience, Thuja Green Giant can succumb to various planting mistakes that negatively impact its growth and overall health. By being aware of these common errors, you can take proactive steps to avoid them. Here are some typical planting mistakes and how to address them effectively:

1. Improper Planting Depth

Planting Thuja Green Giant too shallow or too deep can result in stunted growth and potential root damage. It is essential to plant the tree at the appropriate depth to ensure proper establishment.

When preparing the planting hole, make it twice as wide as the root ball but only as deep as the root ball’s height. This ensures that the root flare (the area where the trunk begins to flare out into roots) is level with or slightly above the soil surface. Planting too shallowly or burying the root flare can lead to moisture retention, root rot, and instability.

2. Insufficient Spacing

Thuja Green Giant trees require adequate spacing to thrive as they mature. Planting them too closely together can restrict airflow and prevent sunlight from reaching the lower branches, resulting in sparse foliage and increased susceptibility to diseases.

When planning your Thuja Green Giant planting, ensure a spacing of at least 10-15 feet between each tree. This will allow ample room for growth, air circulation, and proper sunlight exposure.

3. Poor Soil Drainage

Thuja Green Giants prefer well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot and other fungal infections. Inadequate drainage can be a significant challenge, particularly in heavy clay or compacted soil.

To enhance drainage, consider incorporating organic matter into the soil, such as compost or well-rotted manure. These amendments will improve the soil structure, promoting better drainage. If the natural soil drainage remains poor, you may need to consider planting Thuja Green Giant in raised beds or installing subsurface drainage systems.

4. Improper Watering

Overwatering or underwatering can have detrimental effects on Thuja Green Giant’s health. Both extremes can weaken the tree and make it more susceptible to stress, diseases, and pests.

To avoid overwatering, check the soil’s moisture content before watering. Insert your finger into the soil at a depth of a few inches. If the soil feels dry at that depth, it is time to water. Similarly, if the soil feels spongy or overly wet, reduce or adjust your watering frequency.

Establish a consistent watering schedule, allowing the soil to dry out slightly in between watering sessions. This encourages deep root growth and strengthens the tree’s resilience to drought.

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Alternative Methods Of Planting

Although traditional planting methods are commonly used for Thuja Green Giant, there are alternative techniques that can yield successful results. Here are two alternative methods that you may consider:

1. Container Planting

Planting Thuja Green Giant in containers can be a desirable option for those with limited space, poor soil conditions, or those who want the flexibility to move the tree around. Container planting is especially beneficial in areas with harsh winters, allowing for easy winterization by relocating the container to a more sheltered location.

When choosing a container, ensure it has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil. Use a well-draining potting mix that retains moisture but doesn’t become compacted.

Plant the Thuja Green Giant at the same depth as you would when planting in the ground, ensuring the root flare is level with or slightly above the soil surface. Regularly water the container tree, allowing excess water to drain away.

2. Transplanting

Transplanting Thuja Green Giants can be an effective method if you’re looking to relocate an existing tree or if you have received bare root or balled-and-burlapped specimens for planting. Transplanting should be done carefully to minimize shock to the tree.

Start by preparing the new planting hole, ensuring it is wide and deep enough to accommodate the root system. Carefully remove the tree from its current location, taking care not to disturb the root ball excessively.

Place the tree in the prepared hole, ensuring the root flare is at the appropriate depth. Backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the root ball to eliminate air pockets. Water deeply to settle the soil and promote root growth.

The Benefits Of Growing Thuja Green Giant

Thuja Green Giant offers numerous benefits that make it an excellent choice for gardeners and landscapers alike. Here are some of the key advantages of growing this remarkable evergreen tree:

1. Fast Growth

One of the most notable characteristics of Thuja Green Giant is its rapid growth rate. It can grow up to three feet per year, making it an ideal choice for creating privacy screens or windbreaks in a relatively short period.

2. Dense Foliage

Thuja Green Giant features dense, vibrant green foliage that provides excellent coverage and privacy. The tree maintains its fullness even when grown as a hedge or screen, ensuring year-round beauty.

3. Drought Tolerance

Once established, Thuja Green Giant exhibits excellent drought tolerance, making it suitable for areas with limited water availability. This quality is particularly beneficial in regions with hot summers or periodic water restrictions.

4. Pest And Disease Resistance

Thuja Green Giant is naturally resistant to many common pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical interventions. This resilience ensures a healthy and low-maintenance tree.

5. Versatility

Thuja Green Giant’s versatility makes it a valuable addition to any landscape design. It can be used as a specimen tree, hedging, windbreak, or for erosion control. Its adaptability allows for creative landscaping choices.

6. Cold Hardiness

Thuja Green Giant is exceptionally cold-hardy, thriving in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9. It can withstand freezing temperatures and harsh winter conditions without significant damage, making it suitable for a wide range of climates.

7. Environmental Benefits

As an evergreen tree, Thuja Green Giant contributes to the environment by purifying the air, reducing noise pollution, and providing shelter and food sources for birds and wildlife.


Planting Thuja Green Giant can be a rewarding and aesthetically pleasing endeavor. By following proper planting techniques, taking precautions against pests and diseases, and being mindful of common planting mistakes, you can ensure the health and long-term success of these remarkable trees. With its rapid growth, dense foliage, and numerous benefits, Thuja Green Giant is an excellent choice for a variety of landscaping purposes. Consider adding this versatile and resilient evergreen to your garden or property and enjoy its beauty for years to come.


What Is Thuja Green Giant And How Can I Benefit From Planting It?

Thuja Green Giant is a fast-growing evergreen tree that is popular for its ability to provide privacy and create a beautiful green wall in your yard. It also offers protection against strong winds, noise, and pollution.

When Is The Best Time To Plant Thuja Green Giant?

The best time to plant Thuja Green Giant is in the early spring or fall. This allows the tree to establish its root system before experiencing extreme temperatures. Avoid planting during the summer when the heat can stress the tree.

How Do I Choose The Right Location For Planting Thuja Green Giant?

Thuja Green Giant thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-draining soil. It is important to choose a location that allows enough space for the tree to grow to its mature size, which can reach up to 60 feet tall and 20 feet wide.

How Should I Prepare The Planting Site For Thuja Green Giant?

Before planting, clear the area of any debris or weeds and loosen the soil. It is also recommended to mix in some organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, to improve drainage and provide nutrients for the tree.

How Do I Properly Plant Thuja Green Giant?

Dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of the tree. Place the tree in the hole and backfill with the soil, gently tamping it down to remove any air pockets. Water the tree thoroughly after planting and continue to water regularly for the first year to help establish the root system.