Green Giant Western Arborvitae

Green Giant Western Arborvitae

Thuja plicata x standishii ‘Green Giant’

Description & Overview

Green Giant is a fast-growing evergreen with a naturally pyramidal to conical form. Flaunting dense and rich green sprays of foliage that bronze slightly in the winter, trees may grow to 40 to 60 feet tall with a spread between 12 and 20 feet. Small, light-brown seed cones will develop in mid-summer and are concentrated toward the top of the tree. Green Giant is a hybrid of the North American native Thuja plicata and the Thuja standishii (native to Southern Japan), taking the best features of each to create a more disease-resistant, narrow, and pyramidal Arborvitae.

Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 40-60 feet
Mature Spread: 12-20 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate
Growth Form: Upright, conical, pyramidal
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Site Requirements: Alkaline, average to moist, well-drained
Flower: N/A
Bloom Period: N/A
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Color: None
Fruit Notes: Small, light brown seed cones, ½” long

Suggested Uses:

As land is developed and the population increases, people desire more privacy and want to create an at-home sanctuary. A fence can be expensive, can sometimes be perceived as a little standoffish by neighbors, and doesn’t add much in the way of personality, visual interest, or benefit to the environment. If you aren’t looking to shell out the money or want to explain to your neighbor “that it’s nothing personal…” a living wall may be the best option for you. Learn more about Green Screens: Living Privacy Fence with Evergreens.

Fences often have code regulations behind the height or style you’re allowed to build, also, what about that neighbor’s second-story window looking over your patio area? A fence cannot block that but an evergreen tree can and will add ornamental value to the landscape and provide the cover you need.

Do you have an unsightly utility box that needs to magically disappear? What about that annoying security light on the neighbor’s garage that shines into your bedroom window? Do you have an unsightly view of a highway, or simply want to reduce the noise level? Consider Green Giant Western Arborvitae as it can easily fill this role, and quickly!

Green Giant Western Arborvitae provides excellent screening and can be a hedge when plants are pruned from a younger age as they handle sheering nicely. The dark green foliage provides a beautiful background to accent other plants, especially those with great winter interest, fantastic fall colors, stunning white flowers, or bright red stems.

Use Green Giant in new housing developments, suburban lots, or in a country setting as a windbreak or barrier.

Wildlife Value:

Green Giant Western Arborvitae provides cover, shelter, roosting, and nesting habitat for many birds that take refuge in the thick foliage.

Seeds are sometimes eaten by deer mice but are not preferred.

This is a host plant for the Rusty Tussock Moth (Orgyia antiqua), Mottled Gray Carpet (Cladara limitaria), Small Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia), Common Gray (Anavitrinella papinaria), Renounced Hydriomena Moth (Hydriomena renunciata), Pale Beauty (Campaea perlata), and Larch Pug Moth (Eupithecia annulata).

Maintenance Tips:

Selected to grow in a uniform shape, Green Giant is low-maintenance and doesn’t require the need for pruning or shearing (unless they are being used as a hedge).

A healthy layer of bark mulch will help retain soil moisture.


Black Walnut Tolerant: No
Deer Resistant: No
Rabbit Resistant: No

Although more tolerant than other species of Arborvitae, nothing will stop hungry deer from snacking, and Green Giant is no exception. If you have deer in your area, you may want to consider an entirely different type of evergreen such as a Star Power Juniper, the most deer-resistant conifer.

This hybrid is sensitive to salt spray and salt in the soil and should not be planted near roads or driveways where salt is used.

Leaf Lore:

The genus name Thuja is the Greek name for Juniper (Juniperus). The specific epithet plicata means “pleated” while standishii honors English nurseryman John Standish (1809-1875).

In optimal growing conditions, Green Giant Western Arborvitae can grow 3 to 4 feet per year! It has an average lifespan of 40-60 years.

The largest Western Arborvitae (Thuja plicata) is the Cheewhat Giant in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, while the tallest specimen is 195’ tall and located in Aberdeen, Washington.

Companion Plants:

Add diversity to your green screen by combining Green Giant Western Arborvitae with Star Power™ Juniper, Taylor Juniper, Cypress Spruce, Hill Dundee Juniper, Holmstrup Arborvitae, Burkii Juniper, Degroot’s Spire, Eastern White Pine, Norway Spruce, Serbian Spruce, Techny Arborvitae, Pyramidal Arborvitae, Iowa Juniper, and Emerald Arborvitae.

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