Perfect Potted Trees – Thuja Green Giant

Everyone knows Thuja Green Giant as a hedging or screening plant – probably the best choice around. But evergreens have many other uses in the garden, and one popular use for them is as potted trees. These green specimens are perfect for the corners of a patio, on either side of an entrance, or lined up along a walkway. With the right choice of pot, they will enhance almost any garden style. Italian terracotta pots look perfect in a formal garden. Modern concrete ones bring to life the most modernist and minimalist designs. Big half-barrels look perfect in a country garden. Yew trees are popular choices for this purpose, but they are slow-growing, and take years to develop good form. Laurel are sometimes used, but trimming has to be carefully done, as the large leaves look unattractive with cut ends. For a plant that will mature in just a few years, is easy to clip into a variety of forms, grows large enough to make substantial specimens, and survives cold and drought, with never a pest in sight, it is hard to go past Thuja Green Giant. Always bright green no matter what the season, and quickly developing a tight, dense structure with clipping, this great plant can stand tall in any garden as a beautiful potted tree.

Choosing the Right Pot

Your choice of pot will be dictated by the overall design and theme of your garden, as we have already mentioned. There are some things that you need to consider for any pot, whatever its design. These basics are:

  • Drainage – make sure the pot you choose, whatever its design or the material it is made from, has at least one large drainage hole in it. For large pots two or three holes is ideal. If you find the perfect pot, but it has no drainage, then it is possible to drill out suitable holes. Wooden barrels are of course no problem, but concrete and terracotta can be tricky. Use a slow-drill speed, and turn off the hammer action. Use a masonry bit and trickle water onto the hole as you go. Drill a guide hole with a narrow diameter drill, and finish with a larger one. If you can, drilling from the inside while the pot is bedded on some sand will reduce vibrations and prevent cracking. Take your time, especially towards the end, to avoid shattering, and you will soon have perfect drainage in any container.
  • Material – choose something durable. There are some attractive plastic or fiber-glass pots available, but if these are very light you may find tall plants blowing over. Place a couple of large stones or bricks in the bottom to add weight if you use a container like that. Terracotta is an excellent choice, as it ‘breathes’, and by losing water through its surface draws air into the soil. This is ideal for vigorous trees like Thuja Green Giant, and for long-term growing.
  • Size – Thuja Green Giant is suitable for creating larger potted plants – 6 feet or taller. You need a container large enough to hold such a plant, so choose something that is between 18 and 24 inches in diameter, and about the same depth. In pots of this size your trees will live for years happily, as long as you water and feed them correctly.
  • Soil – Never use garden soil for potting. It is too dense, and holds too much water. Instead, use soils designed for outdoor planters, which are often available at garden centers and hardware stores. If you can’t find one, then use regular houseplant potting soil and add 15 or 20% composted bark, or shredded bark, like that used for mulch. This will open up the soil so it drains well, and also reduce shrinkage. Some gardeners add a little garden soil too – perhaps 10 or 15% – which helps the soil last longer and adds stable nutrients. This is not essential, but if your garden soil is rich and fertile, adding a little is worthwhile.

Taking Care of Thuja Green Giant in Containers

Thuja Green Giant is almost as easy to care for in a container as it is in the ground. A little attention will go a long way to keep your plants in top condition and looking their best.

  • Watering – this of course is the most basic attention needed. The rule is simple – water only when the top few inches are dry, and always water thoroughly until a little water flows out of the drainage hole. That’s it. Simple. In hot weather this might be every few days, while in the winter, waterings could be a couple of weeks apart. Let the soil tell you what to do, and never just give a small amount.
  • Fertilizer – the big difference between plants in pots and those in the garden is in fertilizing. Potted plants should be fertilized regularly, and a liquid fertilizer is best. You can also use slow-release granules sprinkled over the top of the soil. These release some nutrients every time you water, and one application can last all season. Whatever you use, follow the directions carefully. The season for fertilizing runs from early spring to early fall, and use a product designed for evergreens, such as a hedge food.
  • Pests – the simple answer here is that you almost certainly won’t have any if you are growing Thuja Green Giant. It is such a tough plant that insects and diseases leave it alone.

Trimming Thuja Green Giant

The wonderful thing about using this plant for containers is how quickly it will grow into the shape you want. You can create any simple geometrical form easily – straight or tapering columns – round or square; pyramids; large balls; or whatever your imagination suggests. The ‘secret’ to trimming is to trim off small amounts at a time, and do it regularly. While a big hedge can perhaps be left for a while, and will quickly recover from a hard trimming, you want your potted trees to look their best at all time, so ‘little and often’ is the key. This will create beautiful green surfaces of dense foliage, and give you the look you want. Always use sharp tools, and remember that hand-shears will give you the best control with something relatively small like a potted tree.

 

If you have been looking for suitable evergreens for large containers, to decorate your garden, or for a courtyard or terrace, Thuja Green Giant might not have been your first thought. But such a fast-growing plant is ideal for this, because it will very quickly develop into the shape you want – much more quickly than other evergreens will. Because it is in a pot, once established it will slow in growth, so you can easily keep it the shape and size you want. For the perfect all-year-round green column, it should be your first choice.

Thuja Green Giant – All Year Green

Evergreens should be just that – ever green. That means a stable, solid green color all year round. Yet for many evergreens that is simply not true, and many of these plants turn unattractive bronze or brownish colors for months of the winter, only returning to a healthy green color once spring is well underway. This is hardly what we want in our gardens. Most of us plant evergreens expecting to create a dense, permanent green background for our garden, not have a nasty brown one just when other plants are sleeping, leaving the evergreens as the most prominent plants in the garden.

Why Do Evergreens Turn Brown?

There are several reasons why we see these brown colors on many of our evergreens in winter. In its extreme forms this condition is not temporary, but permanent, and results in the death of the brown branches. The cause of this condition is the inability of the plant to supply enough water to the foliage. Since these plants keep green leaves in winter, those leaves continue to lose water, when other plants are protected from this because they dropped their leaves for the winter. Plants have a coating on the leaves, called the cuticle, which varies in thickness from one species of plant to another, depending on how dry an environment they normally live in. In plants that grow naturally in dry places we see that they have a thick cuticle, which allows very little water to evaporate from the leaves. Plants from damper places usually have thinner cuticles. We also see thicker cuticles in evergreens from cold areas, for the following reason.

In winter the air is often very dry, and the winds can be strong. These cold, dry winds speed up the rate of evaporation of water from green leaves. That water must be replaced by water drawn from the soil by the plant’s roots. But here is where the problem starts. If the soil around the roots is frozen, then the water in it will be ice, not liquid. So the roots cannot draw that water up. Rather like sucking on an ice cube, it is hard to get much water from it. We have the advantage that the ice soon melts in our warm mouths, which of course plant roots can’t do, so they cannot get at the water at all.

As a result, a deficit develops in the plant, with it unable to draw enough water to keep the leaves moist. They dry out, turning brown, and then in spring, with the warmer weather, die completely. This is especially a problem with young, newly-planted trees, because the roots only have access to a limited volume of soil, while established plants have roots going deeper down, where there is soil that has not frozen hard.

What Is ‘Winter Burn’ on Evergreens?

When our evergreens turn brownish in winter from this lack of water, gardeners call it ‘winter burn’. When severe it leads to the death of the foliage, or sometimes the whole plant. We can protect our newly planted evergreens from winter burn by watering them deeply shortly before freeze-up, and also by mulching. The heavy watering leaves some water un-frozen in the soil, and that is available for the plants. The mulch reduces heat loss from the soil, keeping it warmer and partially or completely preventing freezing. That is why both of these strategies are recommended for the first couple of winters with newly-planted evergreens, even with such tough plants as Thuja Green Giant.

There is though, another kind of winter burn. This is when the foliage turns a bronzy-brown color, but doesn’t die, and naturally turns green again when the spring returns. This is a reaction of the plant to low temperatures, usually below zero degrees Fahrenheit. The extent to which a plant will do this varies between species, and even between individual plants. Several Thuja plants will do this, such as the Eastern White Cedar, Thuja occidentalis. Wild plants of this tree often turn bronze in winter, even though the plant is hardy to minus 50 degrees. The leaves will turn bronze and brown, and then become green again in spring. This is a natural defense against cold. The color comes from chemicals that accumulate in the leaves to protect it them from drying out. Not all individual plants of this species will do this, and the Emerald Green Arborvitae, a popular hedging plant in colder parts of the country, was specially selected partly because it stayed green in winter, and didn’t bronze. If you live in colder places, this is the ideal hedging plant, exactly because it will give you a great green background to your garden all winter long. Perhaps the reason this plant stays green is because it has a thicker cuticle on the leaves, and so doesn’t need those bronzing chemicals to protect it from drying out.

Winter Bronzing and Thuja Green Giant

Another Thuja plant that will not turn bronze in the winter is Thuja Green Giant. Although not as hardy as Emerald Green Arborvitae, it is the number one hedging and screening choice all across milder areas. This vigorous hybrid plant is hardy all through zone 5, where winter temperatures can fall to minus 20 (Fahrenheit) – plenty cold enough to bring about bronzing in a wide range of evergreens. Thuja Green Giant will stay a beautiful green color through all freezing weather, bringing all-year-green to your garden.

The only time you may see bronzing in this plant is if it is water stressed. This is seen in younger plants, especially in the first year after planting. Plants may green up again in spring, but if you have neglected them you may find some dead branches too. The best protection is the methods we looked to earlier – deep watering just before freeze-up, and mulching.

So if you have planted new Thuja Green Giant this summer or fall, or perhaps even if you planted them last year, late fall is a good time to take care of these simple tasks. You can apply mulch at any time, so this should be your first job. Ideally, use a rich organic material, like compost, rotted leaves or manure, that will improve the soil and feed your plants as well as preventing water loss. If not, then bark chips, shredded wood, gravel or pebbles will all reduce water loss. The deep watering is best done a couple of times in the fall, so that can be done almost any time too. Smart gardeners keep an eye on the weather forecast, and when the first really cold nights, with temperatures well below freezing, are predicted they pull out the hose and give their hedge one last deep watering, before packing up for the winter.

Once your plants are well-established, these precautions are not necessary, although they never hurt. Thuja Green Giant is one evergreen that is virtually guaranteed to give you a beautiful rich-green backdrop to your garden 365 days of the year. This is just another reason why this plant remains the number one hedging and screening choice across the country.

Hybrid Vigor and Thuja Green Giant

Anyone who has planted Thuja Green Giant, or seen its rapid growth, even in difficult conditions, will have realized what a remarkable plant this is. Many will have asked themselves why this would be – what makes this plant stand out among so many others? The reason lies in the origins, and genetic nature of this plant, so to understand it more, and see why it is that such a plant can exist, let’s look at the whole concept of hybrids and why so many of them have such special properties.

What is a Hybrid Plant?

A common mistake is to call these plants ‘High-bred’, thinking that the word means they have been bred in special ways to a certain high point – rather like the way we breed racehorses or prize-winning dogs. Although this certainly gets at the value of these plants, it does not accurately reflect how they have been created.

There is a big difference between plants and animals, and it is this. Because animals can move around and interact with other animals, there are barriers against one species breeding with another. Although this does happen, as with mules (horses bred with donkeys) or ligers (lions bred with tigers), it is very rare. Plants cannot move around, however, so these barriers are not common among them, and it is often easy for one species of plant to cross with another. In nature different plant species grow many miles apart, so crossing can never happen, and there is no reason for mechanisms to develop that would prevent it. Once plants from different places are brought together in a garden, there is often very little to prevent closely-related plants crossing. Our garden are full of hybrid plants, and many of them came about because plants from different places were suddenly being grown together

A hybrid plant is one with parents that are two different species. They usually share the same ‘first’, or genus name, but the ‘second’, or species name is different.

The Parents of Thuja Green Giant

For Thuja Green Giant, one parent is Western Redcedar, called by botanists Thuja plicata. The second parent is Japanese Arborvitae, called Thuja standishii. Notice that the first name is the same for both of these plants, but the second, species name, is different. This is common for all hybrid plants – crosses between a plant from one genus with a plant from another are very rare indeed.

Western Redcedar is a close relative of the White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis), which is also known as Eastern Arborvitae. Together these plants grow from one side of North America to the other, fromhe Pacific to the Atlantic. While White Cedar grows no more than 50 feet tall, and usually a lot less, Western Redcedar can grow to 200 feet, and it easily forms a tall tree. It is a relatively fast-growing tree, adding as much as two feet to its height each year when young.

Japanese Thuja, also called Japanese Arborvitae, grows high in the mountains of Japan, but it is only rarely grown in gardens. It grows between 60 and 100 feet tall, and looks a lot like Western Redcedar.

Notice that these two plants grow thousands of miles apart – 4,700 miles to be precise. There is absolutely no chance that they could ever naturally meet, and breed. So when they were grown near each other, as happened in a nursery in Denmark back in 1937, there was nothing to stop them crossing, and a seedling growing from that event. The resulting plant, which was spotted by the nursery owners and put aside as something interesting, took another 60 years to be seriously noticed, and analyzed. Using modern DNA analysis, scientists at the National Arboretum were able to establish that this interesting Thuja really was a true hybrid between those two parent plants, coming from opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean.

Hybrid Vigor Develops

What is remarkable about Thuja Green Giant is that it is tougher and faster growing that either parent. This is possible because as most people know, genes come in pairs (well, when did you see a pair of Levis with just one leg?). Over time, some bad genes accumulate in plants, slowing down their growth, and making them more susceptible to pests and diseases. If these bad genes are just one of the pair, then that is usually OK. It is when they become both parts of the pair that problems develop. When individual plants continue to cross within one species for thousands of years, it is inevitable that some bad genes will become ‘normal’ among some of the thousands of gene pairs.

However, when hybrids happen, a good gene from one plant replaces one of the bad genes, and each pair gets a new good gene – hiding the effect of the bad ones. So the hybrid plant has lots and lots of great genes, and the bad ones don’t show – the plant can really give its full potential. Since each plant will have its own, unique, bad genes, they will usually be different from the bad ones in the other plant. So each parent gives strong good genes to the hybrid plant, and they ‘mask’ the bad ones of the other parent.

Plant breeders have known about this for a very long time, because they have seen it happen with corn, food plants, and many other plants too. So while we may be surprised at the vigor and growth-rate of Thuja Green Giant, experienced plant breeders aren’t. They know the virtues of hybrid vigor when they see it.

The Vigor of Thuja Green Giant

We only have to notice the growth rate of this remarkable hybrid to see hybrid vigor at work. While the parent plants grow at the very most 2 feet a year, Thuja Green Giant easily manages 3 feet or more – 50% faster – with very little trouble. Even faster rates have been recorded in young plants, so we can safely say the hybrid vigor doubles the growth rate.

That is just a beginning. While both parent plants are a bit ‘fussy’ about where they grow, Thuja Green Giant grows well in all kinds of soils, be they sand or clay, wet or dry. So strong is the hybrid vigor effect, that we have here a plant the will outgrow any other conifer on the planet, and produce a long-lived, hardy tree that is pest and disease resistant too. Even deer stay away.

 

So when you are thinking about hedging plants, you hardly need to think further than Thuja Green Giant. Hybrid vigor really works, and this plant is living proof of that.

Is Your New Hedge Ready for Winter?

So you recently invested in a new hedge – probably Thuja Green Giant, since that is the most popular hedging plant across most of the country. Perhaps you planted it back in the spring, or maybe it was more recent, and you took advantage of some of the price deals around and planted in September. So you are probably looking at your plants right now and feeling a bit concerned that winter is coming. You don’t want to be looking at a row of dead plants when spring rolls round again. Don’t worry, it won’t happen, at least not if you take a few simple steps to give your plants the best chance of surviving. Let’s look at some key things that will make sure spring brings you a perfect row of plants, ready to take off and grow you the perfect hedge.

Trim Your Hedge in Fall

If you planted in spring you perhaps have not trimmed yet. Maybe you are thinking the best thing to do is wait until the plants reach the size you want, and then start trimming. That is definitely not the right thing to do, as trimming should be on your ‘to do’ list right from the beginning. Taking off an inch or two regularly will build a solid, dense structure and give you the best hedge when it does reach its ideal height. It will also make keeping it at that height easier.

As for going into winter, a neatly trimmed hedge will resist wind and snow damage much more successfully than if it is overgrown, with branches shooting in all directions.

So take out your hedge trimmer, and go lightly over the hedge, removing longer shoots and taking the tips off, so that it looks neat. Leave the bottom wider than the top – that is, slope the sides inwards by a few degrees, and take more from the top than the bottom. You want to keep that bottom growing strongly, and narrowing the top is the best way to do that. While a dead straight side profile might appeal to you, that slight lean inwards actually looks very neat, and is the right way to do it. When you are done, don’t forget to clean and sharpen your trimmer before putting it away for the winter.

Fertilize Your Hedge in Fall

Using a fertilizer designed for fall application is always a great idea to set your hedge up for winter. These blends contain less nitrogen, so they don’t cause a big burst of growth, that could be damaged by colder weather. They should contain more potassium than normal. You can check this by looking at the last of the three numbers on the bag that show the analysis of the fertilizer. It should be at least half the first number, which is nitrogen. More than that is fine too.

Potassium makes strong cell walls, and raises the mineral levels in the cells. This acts like anti-freeze, protecting against cold injury, and the thicker walls protect against insects and diseases. Potassium also makes the stems stronger, so they are less likely to be blown over, or bent by the weight of snow. Of course, Thuja Green Giant is not likely at all to be attacked by pests or diseases, but a little protection never hurts.

Water Your Hedge in Fall

Now we come to the most important thing of all – watering. If you live somewhere where the ground freezes in winter, more than an inch or two deep, then your evergreens are at risk of winter injury. This is especially so with newly-planted material, such as that new hedge we are working to protect. Here is the thing – evergreen foliage continues to lose water in winter, even though it is not growing. In fact, because the air is very dry in winter, compared to summer, your plants lose a lot of water, especially when a cold, dry wind is blowing. That water must be replaced from the roots, but if the soil is frozen, then so is the water in it, and those plant roots are trying to suck an ice-cube, and are not getting much water from it. So the foliage dries out, and in spring, as soon as the temperatures rise, it turns brown, which we call ‘winter burn’.

The solution is to make sure that those roots have as much water as possible available to them. That way the foliage is not already dry when the coldest weather arrives. As well, that water in the soil slows down hard freeze, so there is still some ‘free’ water around for the roots to take up. So, water every week or two, from early September until freeze-up – your hedge will love you for it, and you will love the fresh green foliage on your hedge when spring comes.

Mulch Your Hedge in Fall

Covering the soil at the roots is also an excellent job for fall. If your hedge is newly-planted, the you may have done this when you planted it. If there is still a good layer, then you are set to go. If not, then a couple of inches of organic mulch will do the trick. Cover the ground out from the hedge, as the roots may already have begun to spread, but keep the mulch off the stems. Something rich and organic is better than bark, and bark is better than stones, but of course what you use will depend on what is available, and the look you want in your garden. Mulch will conserve water, and it will insulate the ground, reducing freezing, and so protect further from winter burn.

Protect Your Hedge in Fall

One of the last jobs of the season is to give your new hedge some protection, depending on where it is located. If it is along a road or driveway, and salt is used, then there is a risk of salt damage to the foliage. Thuja Green Giant has good tolerance of salt spray, but when young, even that tough plant will benefit from some protection.

There are two ways to go. If the risk of salt damage is fairly low, then an anti-desiccant spray will do the trick. These sprays put an invisible plastic coating over the foliage, keeping salty water away, as well as protecting against winter burn by reducing evaporation from the foliage. The second choice is the traditional burlap screen. This is a roll of burlap attached to poles and strung in-between the source of the salt and the hedge. Make sure it is taller than your hedge, and keep it at least 6 inches away from the foliage. Some people make the mistake of putting it right on the hedge, but if it becomes soaked with salty spray, then you are going to make the problem worse, not better.

 

If you do these simple things, your beautiful new hedge is going to look just as beautiful in spring, and you can look forward to years of beauty from it – especially if you made the wise choice of Thuja Green Giant.

Fastest Tree on Roots – Thuja Green Giant

Seems like we live in an age of speed – everything happens faster – instant messages, instant email, instant meals – and our gardens are in on the trend too. There was a time when we were patient enough to wait years for hedges of yew or hemlock to grow, but today we want our hedges fast, not slow. It often seems that when we need something, along it comes, and with hedges too, over the years, new plants have been introduced that give us the faster growth we are looking for.

The first super-fast hedging evergreen to come along was the Leyland Cypress. This plant has a long and complex history, dating back to 1888, at a grand estate in the British Isles. It took many years for this unique plant to be noticed, and although it became popular for hedges in England in the 1930’s, it was the 1950s and 60s before it arrived in America. Its distribution by Clemson University in South Carolina at that time made it hugely popular in the southern states – even more popular than in Europe. The arrival of this fast-growing plant coincided with the expansion of cities and the growth of suburbs, and it became the ‘go-to’ plant for privacy and screening between the new homes spreading across the landscape.

Leyland Cypress remains justifiably popular, but over time the plants become very large, especially if they are not regularly trimmed. So many hedges simply became too large, and after 30 years or so, there was a need to replace them. As well, in hot places some disease problems developed, making it necessary to find a substitute. Anyway, for practical reasons, it always makes sense to replace an old plant with something different – using the same plant can result in poor growth.

It was at this point – just when it was needed – that Thuja Green Giant came along. Although this tree had first been found in Denmark, the Second World War prevented it being introduced into America until 1967. A single plant was growing at the National Arboretum in Washington DC, but it was only in the 1990s, when that plant had reached an impressive size, that it began to attract attention. Several nurserymen who visited the Arboretum wanted to grow this remarkable plant, and they were given pieces to root and grow. The name ‘Green Giant’ was dreamed up by a nurseryman from Tennessee called Don Shadow, and that great name certainly helped to draw attention to this terrific plant.

There were several things about Thuja Green Giant that got those nurserymen excited. The first was its speed of growth. Young plants grow as much as 3 feet in a year, and sometimes even more. As plants mature they slow down, but in 7 years a 10-foot hedge is virtually guaranteed from the smallest plant, and obviously if you start with 3, 4, or 5-foot trees, they will double in size in just a few years. Nothing else approaches that – not even Leyland Cypress.

What is the secret to this rapid growth? It happens because this plant is a hybrid between two natural species of Thuja – the Japanese Thuja (Thuja standishi) and Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata). Neither of these plants is particularly fast growing. When they get together, however, we see what scientists call ‘hybrid vigor’ – offspring that are stronger, faster-growing and generally tougher than either parent.

Because it is not only in speed of growth that Thuja Green Giant excels, and shows this hybrid vigor. Other kinds of cedar are likely to show browning in winter, but not this one. Others may be particular about the soil they grow in, but not this one. Others suffer from pests and diseases that can make them unsightly, or have preferences for particular soils, but no, not Thuja Green Giant. It doesn’t really matter what kind of soil you have – sand or clay are all suitable, and so are acid or alkaline soils. Dry or wet, all soils are suitable. Only if your soil is regularly flooded can this great plant not be grown. It is very rare to see any kind of pests or diseases on it either, and even if you do it will be very minor and cause no particular concern.

Now if course this tree is a fantastic grower, but it does benefit from some attention. In particular, good soil preparation will give it the best start in life. This means digging the soil well, by hand or with a roto-tiller. It also means adding organic material, like compost, rotted manure or peat-moss to the soil. Some starter fertilizer is an excellent idea too. These basics will give your plants a great start – and give you those growth rates you are looking for.

So will regular watering, especially during the first season or two, while your plants become established. If you are really keen to see the maximum growth this plant is capable off, make sure it doesn’t become dry, and use a liquid hedge food regularly, according to the directions of the particular one you use. Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “If some is good, more is better.” That rule does not apply to feeding your plants – too much can bring problems.

The third way to get the most from your new hedge is to trim it right from the start. “Wait a minute,” I can hear you say, “How can it grow tall if I keep clipping it?” Well you are only going to remove an inch or two each time, so it will hardly affect the height at all. The reason for clipping from the start is to build a dense, twiggy structure to your hedge. Keeping it tight, and building a strong structure will make a hedge that can resist strong winds, snow, and ice. You see, the only problem with this plant is that it cannot produce new, green growth from thick woody stems. As a result, you cannot cut it back if it gets too large. If you have to cut a large amount off, you will have a thin structure that will only very slowly recover and become dense. By trimming a little, but often, you will never have that problem, and you will keep a neat, dense hedge of the size you want for many, many years.

Thuja Green Giant has been planted in the millions, by millions of satisfied gardeners, and it remains the number one choice everywhere it can be grown. If you garden in zones 5 to 8, and you need an evergreen hedge that is 6 feet tall or more, then choose the Green Giant – you won’t be disappointed.

Prepare Your Hedge for Winter

If you live in cooler parts of the country, then winter can be rough on a hedge. Since there is not much else to see in the garden, hedges become much more prominent at that time too, so their appearance becomes more important. With the risk of storms increasing, and a mood of uncertainty in the weather, no matter where you are, taking steps to protect your hedges from damage makes a lot of sense.

Prepare Your Hedge for Winter

  • Choose the right hedging plants – Thuja Green Giant for zones 5 to 8, Emerald Green Arborvitae in colder regions
  • Water well through the fall – even if rain has fallen, soaking the roots protects against winter burn
  • Apply fall fertilizers – use something designed for fall, with high potash for cold-resistance
  • Trim your hedge in fall – a trimming in September will create a tight structure and reduce the risk of damage from snow, ice or strong winds

Correct Choice of suitable Hedging Plants

If you are still in the design-phase of your hedge, then some careful consideration of what plants to use makes sense. Across most of the country Thuja Green Giant is the most popular pick, by a long way. Not only is it fast-growing, it is tough and reliable, and stays a fresh green color all year round. Great as this plant is for hedges, it is hardy just to zone 5, and if you are on the northern limits of that zone, and certainly if you are anywhere in zone 4, then it may not be the right choice for you. Winter lows below minus 20 degrees are the cut-off point. If you are likely to have nights below that, then Emerald Green Arborvitae is the best choice. This plant is hardy all the way down to minus 40, so there are few places in the country where it won’t come through the winter untouched. It is a bit slower growing, and it can sometimes bronze a little in winter, but if you live in cold areas, it is the right choice – an outstanding hedging plant for cold places.

On the other hand, once you are well into zone 5, and certainly all the way up to zone 9, Thuja Green Giant has to be the top, number-one choice for everyone who needs speed, lush green growth, and reliability across a wide range of soil conditions.

Keep up the Water Supply

Although we associate fall with rain, sometimes it doesn’t come, or at least not in great quantities. Because of their overhang, hedges keep light rain away from their own roots, and it is easy for your hedge to be dry when colder weather arrives. Dryness at the roots is without doubt the single greatest cause of winter damage in evergreens. Once the ground freezes, the roots can no longer bring up water to the green parts. Exposed to the cold, dry winds of winter, and also to the warming and drying effects of winter sun, that foliage will dry out, without the moisture being replaced. When spring comes, suddenly you are looking at dried-out foliage on your hedge.

If you do one thing for your hedge before winter, make it a good soaking at the roots, or even a couple, separated by two or three weeks. Even if you have had some rain, it never hurts to get lots of water onto the roots, especially of a newly-planted hedge. Not only does the water in the soil slow-down freezing, it ensures that the leaves are fully hydrated when winter comes. Some of the water may not freeze, so the roots will still be able to supply the foliage with enough to prevent winter burn and death. Keep soaking right up to freeze-up, whenever that comes for you. You won’t regret the little bit of work involved. If you run a soaker hose along the line of your hedge, it will make the job very easy, and it will be useful in summer too, when periods of drought arrive.

Use a Fall Fertilizer

You might think fertilizing your hedge in fall is a bad idea, but it isn’t. You need to use a suitable fertilizer – check your local garden center or hardware store for something labelled for fall use on hedges. These have lower levels of nitrogen, so they don’t stimulate new growth. They also have elevated levels of potash (Potassium), which helps cells pump the maximum amount of water into the foliage, stimulating thicker cell walls. This in turn brings greater resistance to cold, diseases and insect attack too. Sometimes the nitrogen is ‘packaged’ in a form that sits dormant over winter, and then becomes available as the soil warms, which is a fantastic way to get spring fertilizer to your plants as soon as they begin to grow. These products have many benefits, and should be used more by home gardeners. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for application, and use early in the fall, generally before early October.

Trim Your Hedge for Winter

When it comes to protecting your hedge against damage from snow and ice, or strong winds, nothing works as well as trimming in early fall. The hedge that is a little overgrown, with areas where snow or ice can lodge, or with branches that can be whipped around by strong winds, is the hedge that suffers winter damage. The more you trim, the tighter your hedge will grow, and it is that dense, tight growth that sheds snow, and filters the wind, keeping your hedge from injury. Thuja Green Giant is fast-growing, so to build a strong structure it needs regular trimming. Always trim in all directions across the face of the hedge. If you only trim upwards – a common mistake by beginners – you will encourage long branches on the face of the hedge. These are easily dislodged by wind, and then broken, leaving large gaps that can take several years to fill in. Cut downwards as well as upwards, to create horizontal, tufted branches that stay tight in the hedge, preserving a solid, unbroken face.

When trimming the top, if you get significant winter snowfall, then a rounded shape, on a narrow top, will shed snow, and ice much better than the classic square top. Square works well if you are zones 8 or 9, where snow is a rare or non-existent event, but regular snow calls for the protection of a rounded top.

Just make sure you do this important job early on in the season. The end of September is the deadline in most areas – but mid-October is fine in warmer zones. Any later and you may create soft new growth that is more prone to winter damage.

 

These few simple steps will greatly increase the likelihood that come spring, you will have a perfect hedge, ready to go for another season. Hedges are great backdrops for any garden, and they deserve a little attention to help them along.

Fall Trimming of Thuja Green Giant

The Labor Day weekend marks the turning point of the year between summer and fall. September is an important month in the garden, with preparations for the following year on the calendar. Besides planting trees and shrubs, and of course some spring bulbs, a careful and thorough hedge trimming is recommended. You want your Thuja Green Giant hedges to go into winter not only looking good, but with the best chances of coming through the winter in perfect condition. If you only trim once a year, this is the time to do it. With that in mind, let’s look at some suggestions to achieve that perfect trim, and give yourself the best hedge in your neighborhood.

Tips for Fall Hedge Trimming

  • Sharpen Your Trimmer – you will get the perfect cut
  • Slope the Sides – a gentle inward slope keeps growth right to the ground
  • Round the Top – a rounded top will shed snow and ice, preventing breakage
  • Trim the Face in all Directions – don’t encourage long, upward-growing branches
  • Never Cut to a Leafless Branch – new growth can only come from green branches
  • Apply a Fall Fertilizer – this will toughen your plants, and keep them green all winter

Sharpen Your Trimmer

A sharp trimmer makes a clean cut, leaving no ragged edges to turn brown. Although you have to look closely to even see those brown edges, when they are all over your hedge they destroy the lush green look you strive for. Sharp trimmers greatly reduce that browning, as well as making the whole job so much easier.

There are two choices. You can take your trimmer to a professional dealership, preferably for the brand you own, and have your trimmer cleaned, adjusted and sharpened. Since they have sharpening machines, the result will be a trimmer that cuts like the first day you used it.

If you don’t want to do that, or your trimmer is only a little blunted, then you can do the job yourself. First, clean the blades, to remove dirt and dried-on resin and sap. You may need a solvent to do that – alcohol or petrol both work well. Use a brush to loosen the dirt, and rinse off petrol with soapy water. Then you are ready to sharpen.

You need a flat file with a fine grain, and a sharpening stone. Begin by filing the blades. Move the file in the direction of the blade, and keep the same angle as the blade is already sharpened at. Only file areas that already have an edge, and don’t file too much. Do the same amount of filing on each blade – just a few strokes will do it. Now pass the sharpening stone flat across the bottom of the blade, to remove the burr. Brush the teeth with a stiff brush to remove filings, and apply an anti-rust spray. Job done!

Set the Angle of Your Hedge

An important part of creating a durable, long-lived Thuja Green Giant hedge is establishing a gentle slope to the sides. The upper part of a hedge will always grow more vigorously, and eventually starve the lower parts, as well as weakening them from the shade created by the top. To keep your hedge thick and green right to the ground, you need to slope the sides inwards by a few degrees. This doesn’t have to be noticeable, but it should be enough to let the light right down to the bottom. You can use a long pole and a level to visualize an inwards slope, or you can make a wooden triangle, with one side sloping backwards by a few degrees. That will give you a consistent guide, which is very useful for a long hedge. If you can see your hedge from its end, then you will be able to see the angle clearly, and see where you need to trim more.

Round the Top of Your Hedge

While it is possible to maintain a flat top, as long as you keep it narrow, for most hedges it is easiest to shape the top into a semi-circle. This will shed snow effectively, preventing breakage under the weight of snow and ice, something that will quickly destroy a beautiful hedge. Keep the top thin, no more than 12 inches wide, as a thick top is much more likely to lodge snow, and break open. If your top is thin, then you also know that you have got that sloping side right.

You should also try to keep the top level, or if you are on a steep slope, cut into in several sections, with a neat drop in height for each one. Sloping tops just look weird and untidy, and won’t give your garden the quality finish you want.

Trim Your Hedge Horizontally

A big mistake of many novice hedge trimmers is to only use the trimmers going upwards. This encourages long, upright branches on the face of the hedge, rather like a comb-over on a balding head. This might make the hedge look lush, but those long branches are vulnerable to damage, and they are easily loosened by wind and storms. They end up hanging outside the hedge, and often breaking, leaving a large gap that can take several years to fill.

Much better is to pass the trimmers in all directions across the face of the hedge – upwards, downwards and sideways. This will encourage short, horizontal branches, with dense, tufted ends forming the green parts of the hedge. These are much more durable, and if one does die, it doesn’t leave a large hole, but a small one that will fill in a single season or less.

Never Cut into Leafless Branches

Sometimes you see hedges which have clearly not been trimmed for several years. In an attempt to reduce the height or thickness, someone has cut the branches back to bare stumps. Never, ever do this! If you do, those branches will not grow back. Like most evergreens, Thuja Green Giant cannot produce new green growth from a bare stump, only from thinner branches that still have some green, leafy parts to them. This is a good reason to trim your hedge at least once a year, or you will find it very hard to reduce its height of width, and it will soon grow larger than you wanted it to be.

Use a Fall Fertilizer

Ideally, you want your hedge to produce just a little new growth after the final trimming – enough to make it look green and lush, but still neat and tidy. To do this, try to trim about 6 weeks before the temperatures falls below 40 degrees, when most growth stops. When you trim, also apply a fertilizer designed for fall application to hedges. These are usually available in garden centers and stores at this season. They contain higher levels of potassium, which strengthens the cell walls, making them more resistant to cold. This reduces the risk of any winter browning, and also makes stems that are more resistant to being pushed over by wind or storms. As well, some of these fertilizers contain nitrogen in a form that is only released in warm weather. So it sits in the soil until spring, ready to feed the first flush of growth. There will also be a small amount of nitrogen to give a quick flush of new fall growth, making your Thuja Green Giant hedge look green and lush all winter long.

A Fertilizer Program for Thuja Green Giant – Part 2

A well-planned fertilizer program for your Thuja Green Giant hedge can make the difference between simply good growth, and spectacular, dense and healthy growth, giving you a solid hedge or screen several years earlier than it would otherwise happen. In this mini-series, we have been looking at fertilizers, not just saying ‘this one is good’, but giving the basics. If you understand plant nutrition, then selecting a fertilizer from the array available becomes a thought-out activity, not a hit-or-miss process. You can tailor your choice to what you know your hedge needs, depending on how it looks, and at what stage it is growing. You can make smart price choices, and understand the value of certain ingredients. As well, you have the pleasure of knowing more about your plants, and realizing that good gardening is something that can be learned, without the required ‘green thumb’.

In the first part of this series, posted last week, we looked at the ‘Big Three’, the major plant nutrients – Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium – that figure in the three numbers of the Fertilizer Ratio on every bag of fertilizer. We looked at what they do, and their roles in the good health of your plants. To summarize that, we can say the Nitrogen is the ‘growing’ nutrient, that causes shoots and leaves to develop; Phosphorus is the ‘rooting’ nutrient, that helps your plants develop strong, extensive root systems; and Potassium is the ‘protecting’ nutrient, that strengthens cells, and makes them more resistant to cold, insects and diseases.

Now let’s look at some of the important minor nutrients, which, like vitamins for us, are only needed in small quantities, but which are just as important as those Big Three.

The Minor Plant Nutrients

There are several nutrients that are used by plants in moderate quantities, although a lot less than N, P, K (these are the scientific symbols for the Big Three). These are Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulphur. Only in very acidic soils, with pH values below 5.5, can there be a lack of calcium and correcting that is not a matter of fertilizer, so we will put that one aside. Sulphur is present everywhere, and is almost never an issue for plants. That just leaves Magnesium.

Magnesium

We all know about the ‘wonder chemical’ called chlorophyll in plants that turns sunlight into sugar. It is what makes leaves green, and it is what feeds everything on the planet, directly or indirectly. Inside the heart of this big molecule is a single atom of magnesium. Without enough of that metal, no matter how fast the plant tries to grow, it will not be able to. Plants can rob older leaves to feed the more important younger ones if magnesium is in short supply, and Thuja will do that, leaving the older parts of the stems yellow instead of green, while the growing tips still look healthy.

This is not very common, mainly because most good fertilizers include magnesium in them. Look for the letters ‘Mg’ to find out if the fertilizer you are looking at has some, which will usually be listed as a percentage. It doesn’t have to be very much, and sometimes it isn’t even needed, but it’s good to see some in there.

The Micro-nutrients

These nutrients are also called ‘trace elements’, and both names tell us that they are only needed in minute quantities. These are sometimes called ‘vitamins for plants’, because they are just as important to plants as the big nutrients, but only tiny amounts are used. There are several, but only a couple are of importance. Iron, boron, manganese, zinc, copper, molybdenum, nickel and chlorine are the micro-nutrients that plants need, bringing the total needed to just 14 elements. Others are sometimes listed, but at this point those are not strictly essential, as they can be replaced with one or other of the 14. From a practical point of view most of this list can be ignored, since some, like chlorine, are so widespread that it is almost impossible to even demonstrate in hydroculture that they are essential. Nickel is needed only in very, very, minute quantities, and it need special equipment to even detect such small amounts. In most parts of the country, boron, manganese, zinc and copper are common in soil, and no supplements are needed. That just leaves iron, which we will look at in a moment.

Because it is hard to decide how much of these nutrients are needed, in modern fertilizers they are almost always simply included in small amounts. You will usually see them listed somewhere on the bag, given in ‘ppm’, which stands for ‘parts per million’. This is a commonly-used way of expressing very small amounts of something. Only the cheapest fertilizers will have no micro-nutrients, and the good news is that the materials in them will probably be a little impure, so they will be ‘contaminated’ with enough of these elements to provide your plants with what they might need.

Iron

This element is the only micro-nutrient that is regularly needed by plants as a supplement. We said that magnesium is in the chlorophyll molecule, well iron is in the enzymes that make chlorophyll, so no iron means no enzymes, which in turn means no chlorophyll. However the difference is very easy to see, because iron deficiency shows up on young, new shoots, which turn pale yellow. Like the other micro-nutrients, iron will often be in fertilizer you buy. Look for the letters ‘Fe’, which is the chemical symbol for iron. To get maximum growth from your Green Giant Hedge, iron is an important additive, since it will give your hedge that rich, lush green color that makes such a perfect backdrop for your garden. Nobody wants a pale hedge, and making sure you are adding iron will prevent that. This is by far the most common micro-nutrient deficiency seen, especially on soils that are alkaline, or if you have recently put down a lot of lime, hoping to improve your soil.

Enough for Now. . .

We seem to be on a roll here, so next week we will look at using organic fertilizers on your Thuja Green Giant hedge.

A Fertilizer Program for Thuja Green Giant – Part 1

When we plant a Thuja Green Giant hedge or screen, we want fast, strong growth. That is why we chose such a fast-growing tree. Usually hedges are put in for privacy, and it is hard to really feel at home in the garden until that lush green wall goes up, keeping the outside world truly outside, and screening us from unsightly views, traffic noise, wind, drifting snow, and even the entry of unwanted animals into our gardens. So it makes sense, right from the start, to have a well-planned fertilizer program in place, so that the growth of our new hedge is fast, lush, healthy and durable. There are many products on the market, all claiming to be ‘the best’ fertilizer available. It is a great help to understand the basics, so that the label can give us some real information, and we can read past the advertising and get exactly what we need. Let’s begin with some basics:

The Big Three Plant Nutrients

Plants are very different from animals, and the first thing to realize is that the food groups and vitamins we need have no relevance at all to plant nutrition. Plant live on minerals from rock, dissolved in water, making everything else they need from them, from carbon dioxide in the air, and from the energy of the sun, unlocked by the process of photosynthesis. The only part of that we have any control over is those minerals, and plants use just three in significant quantities. These are the represented by the three numbers seen in the fine-print on fertilizer packaging, called the Fertilizer Ratio, and looking like ’20-20-20’ or ’12-5-15’.

Nitrogen

If we want an analogy with our own diet, nitrogen is the protein of the plant diet. It is the nutrient used the most, and indeed, it does go into all the proteins needed by plants, which are not as numerous as they are for us. The main plant proteins are all enzymes for growth. As well, nitrogen makes DNA, and the pigment chlorophyll for photosynthesis. From a practical viewpoint, we can see immediately that for plants to grow, cells must divide, and each dividing cell needs DNA. As well, without chlorophyll, no growth can take place. So nitrogen is the growing nutrient, encouraging new shoots, green leaves, and in our Thuja Green Giant, nice long stems, of a rich green color, and quick recovery after trimming.

High levels of nitrogen are found in all general-purpose hedge fertilizers, and you should look for a big first number in the Fertilizer Ratio.’20’ or ‘30’ are numbers that indicate a fertilizer bursting with nitrogen. When you use a high-nitrogen fertilizer, it is easy to overfeed, and encourage soft growth, easily damaged by cold or insects. In extreme cases it is even possible to kill plants completely, as is seen when you spill some lawn-food on the grass, leaving a dead patch. So always follow the directions for dilution and frequency of application. In this case a ‘little extra for good luck’ can have exactly the opposite effect.

Phosphorus

This mineral is the second most important one for your hedge, because it develops strong root-systems, and balances the tendency of nitrogen to stimulate soft growth that is sensitive to cold, and more easily attacked by pests. Phosphorus is used by your plants as another essential component of DNA, so it is found in all the growing tips of both roots and shoots. Since a plant has a lot more roots than shoots, it needs a lot more phosphorus for the root-system than it does for the top growth. Phosphorus is the second number in that Fertilizer Ratio, and you will find big numbers, sometimes as high as 52.

Your soil conditions are just as important as how much phosphorus there is in the box, because soil pH – its acid/alkaline balance – plays a big part in making soil phosphorus soluble, and so able to be taken up by plants. Slightly acid soils, with a pH of 6.5, have the best uptake, and if you have very alkaline or very acidic soil, you may not get the full benefit of the phosphorus fertilizers you use.

Thuja Green Giant uses phosphorus to make strong roots, establishing itself well when newly planted, and sending roots deep into the ground to give drought resistance and the ability to absorb all the nutrients needed for optimal growth. For this reason, extra phosphorus, in the form of superphosphate, is recommended when preparing your planting areas. Work all phosphorus fertilizers well into the soil. they dissolve slowly, and only move a few inches a year through the soil. So scattered on top as an after-thought, once planting is over, really is a complete waste of time.

Fertilizers sold as ‘starter’ or ‘planting’ aids usually have lots of phosphorus, and they are ideal for feeding freshly-planted trees. Use them during the vital first few months of growth. They really get your plants off to a flying start, and any extra remains in the soil for decades, so it is almost impossible to over-use phosphorus fertilizers.

Potassium

The last number in that Fertilizer Ratio stands for Potassium. This mineral is not used by the plant to make any structural components of its cells, but it is used inside the cell to keep everything rigid and strong, and its presence stimulates plant cells to build big, sturdy cell walls. This protects them from insects and cold. So you will see large numbers for potassium in ‘fall fertilizers’, designed to bring the growth of your hedge to a conclusion for the season, strengthening and thickening the stems, and increasing cold-hardiness and resistance to being pushed over by snow and ice. Plenty of potassium is especially important if you grow your Thuja Green Giant in colder zones, because cold-hardiness is an important aspect of good health for your hedge.

Enough for now. . .

That’s a lot to absorb, if  you will excuse the pun, so in the second part of this blog series we will take a look at the minor nutrients, which play an important part in the color and vigor of your hedge, even though they are not shown among the ‘big three’ nutrients in your fertilizer.

Seven Reasons to Choose Thuja Green Giant

So you want to grow a screen or tall hedge, right? And you are trying to decide which plant you should choose. Well here are some good reasons – seven of them – why Thuja Green Giant remains the top choice of gardeners across the country looking to plant a screen or hedge.

7 Reason why Thuja Green Giant is the right choice:

  • Fastest growing evergreen available – grows at least 3 feet a year when young
  • Adaptable to a wide range of climates – all the way from zone 5 to zone 9
  • Resistant to deer – usually ignored, so no need for deer-proof fencing
  • Grows in most soils – whatever your soil, this tree will grow for you
  • Lush and green all year round – no browning or bronzing in winter
  • Grows in partial shade – will grow densely with sun for just half the day
  • Pest and disease free – significant problems almost never seen

Screening is important in our gardens. Privacy means we can relax, and the enclosure created by a tall screen gives our gardens that sense of intimacy and completeness that is so important. Planting screening is often the first step in laying out your garden. Once that is established, you can move on to decorate the space inside, taking advantage of the shelter from strong winds it will give you. Inside a sheltered area it can be a whole zone warmer than your official ‘post-code’ zone number. So let’s look at Thuja Green Giant, and see more about why it should be your top choice.

Fastest growing evergreen available

This is not just a claim by a salesman. Some years ago, the horticulture scientists at the University of Arkansas planted a wide range of hedging plants. These were small plants, placed out in a field. The Green Giants outgrew every other plant, growing into dense, upright bushy plants 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide in just 7 years. Starting with larger specimens, you will have a 10 tall, solid hedge or screen in no more than 5 years, and the first 5 or 6 feet happen in the first two or three growing seasons, especially if you use a fertilizer program and water regularly.

Adaptable to a wide range of climates

All the way from zone 5, where winter temperatures can fall to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit, all the way south and east into zone 9, where summer is long and hot, Thuja Green Giant will thrive. This is because it is a hybrid plant, created from two wild species of arborvitae. Hybrid plants display all the most vigorous genes, and mask the weakening ones, so these plants are tougher and faster-growing than either of their parents. Isn’t Nature wonderful?

Resistant to deer

While deer have minds of their own, and can eat almost anything when hungry enough, they almost always leave the Green Giant alone. This is quite different from other arborvitae (Thuja species), which are typically eaten by deer on a regular basis. If you see a general statement that ‘arborvitae are not deer-resistant’, that doesn’t apply to Thuja Green Giant, which is not attractive to them at all. Even if some light grazing does happen, the growth-rate is so fast that it will grow back in a few weeks, once spring comes.

Grows in most soils

We all know about plants that need specific types of soil, such as ‘acid soil’, or ‘sandy-loam’, and that will grow poorly in anything else. Because of its hybrid vigor, this doesn’t apply to Thuja Green Giant. Not at all. In almost any soil type, from sandy to clay, and from acid to alkaline, this evergreen grows well. Of course, in sandy soils you will need more water and fertilizer, and some clay soils are regularly saturated with water, which is not good for most plants. If you do have more ‘extreme’ soil, put a little more into soil preparation, by adding lots of rich organic material, which holds water and nutrients in sandy soil, improves the drainage in clay soils – and counters high alkalinity too.

Lush and green all year round

Especially in colder regions, winter is a long, dull season, with not much happening in the garden. So evergreen plants are great, because they stay green, and make the garden look brighter. The last thing you want is to have your lush, green hedge turn bronzy-brown as soon as colder weather sets in, and stay that way until all the new spring growth has flushed out. Sadly, quite a lot of the traditional hedging plants do exactly that. Not the Jolly Green Giant, who stays a bright, rich-green throughout the winter, with no yellowing or bronzing, brightening the garden all winter long.

Grows in partial shade

Most evergreens do very badly in shade. Some that do grow well in it, such as yew trees, or hemlock, are slow-growing, so usually they are only used in the deepest shade. If you have moderate shade, with some direct sunlight for part of the day during spring and summer, then rather than use those slow-growing plants, pick Thuja Green Giant. It will grow vigorously and stay dense even in 50% shade, standing apart from other arborvitae and most other evergreens. If you have a lot of beautiful shade trees on your property, the chances are that the places you want hedges and screening will not be in full sun. Simply by choosing Thuja Green Giant you know that your hedge will turn out great.

Pest and disease free

Some other arborvitae are very prone to pests and diseases. Some plants like Leyland Cypress were widely planted in the past, only to fall to disease in many parts of the country. if you are planting a new hedge, or replacing an old one, Thuja Green Giant is an excellent choice, because it is much less susceptible to pests and diseases that most other hedge plants. Even the most reputable university and school sites say ‘No serious insect or disease problems’ when describing this plant. Yes, it is possible to have some attack by the insects called ‘bagworms’, which are caterpillars that strip branches of their leaves. But like a deer attack, because of the fast growth-rate of this tree, any damage will quickly be replaced by new growth. It is also possible, if the soil you plant in is almost constantly wet, that root-rot diseases will strike. But that will happen with almost every tree in those conditions, and it is the one time where another plant is the best recommendation for a hedge.

 

Taken overall, these are seven very sound reasons for choosing Thuja Green Giant for a hedge or screen – it’s hard to go wrong with this remarkable evergreen.