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arborvitae hedges

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arborvitae hedges2019-11-07T12:47:28+00:00

The Arborvitaes are extremely popular hedge varieties for screening and privacy due to their evergreen foliage, dense growth habit, lush green color, hardiness, and ease of maintenance.

There are many varieties to choose from, including Green Giant (Thuja x ‘Green Giant’) and Emerald Green Arborvitaes (Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’).

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4 Varieties of Arborvitae

Thuja x. 'Green Giant'

Thuja Occidentalis 'Smaragd'

Thuja Plicata 'Virescens'

Thuja Occidentalis

Arborvitae Hedges

Evergreen Arborvitae hedge for sale

Green Giant Arborvitae

Best Arborvitae for hedge

Emerald Green Arborvitae

types of arborvitae

American Arborvitae

Arborvitae Hedge

Western Red Cedar

They’re just the same…only different

Different types of arborvitae varieties are prized for different reasons, but the main thing persists: you can’t beat the dense growth and beautiful, dark green foliage. The differences include hardiness zones, growth rates, growth habits, maintenance, light requirements, and deer resistance. See different types of hedges. Buy Arborvitae trees for Sale at InstantHedge Oregon.

Hardiness

Cold hardiness obviously makes a big difference on where different varieties can be grown. In general, Arborvitaes are used a lot in the Northern and Midwestern US due to their tolerance for cold temperatures.

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Thuja Occidentalis

Aka Thuja Occidentalis is extremely cold-hardy, thriving in USDA Zones 2-8! This applies for the straight species as well we the variety Emerald Green.

green giant arborvitae growing conditions

Green Giant Arborvitae

is a hybrid between Thuja plicata and Thuja standishii. It is hardy in USDA Zones 5-8, which still covers a lot of the colder regions of the US and can grow further south than Thuja occidentalis.

mature arborvitae trees for sale

Virescens Western Red Cedar

(not technically called Cedar but still a member of the same Thuja genus) is native to the Pacific Northwest, and it is a great choice for Western and Warmer states.

arborvitae growth rate

There is a big difference in growth rate with Cedar that is important to consider when choosing a variety for a hedge.

Arborvitae hedge

Green Giant Arborvitae grows at an incredibly fast rate; up to several feet per year in the right growing conditions! Use when fast height is of the utmostimportanceand there is ample room for width as well. This plant will require pruning to keep it under control.

arborvitae growth rate

American Arborvitae and Virescens Western Red Cedar are medium-rate growers, increasing by 1-2 feet per year in optimum growing conditions. Use when fast height is important, but width space is limited and/or less pruning is desired.

Arborvitae hedge

Emerald Green Arborvitae is the slowest grower of the Arborviate group. The bad news is it will take longer for these to reach towering heights to provide second story privacy. The good news is that you will have optimum density and minimal pruning needed.

arborvitae hedge growth rate

Growth Habit

Looking at the plant’s natural growth habit can help guide decisions as well. From looking at the diagram below, you can see that the Green Giant will fill out a big space faster than any other variety but will need intensive pruning to maintain in a smaller space, while the Emerald Green will take some time to fill out a big space but will be incredibly low-maintenance in a small space. Arborvitae growth rate differ from variety to variety.

Arborvitae varieties

Thuja x Green Giant

Green Giant Arborvitae

types of arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis

American Arborvitae

arborvitae variety

Thuja plicata ‘Virescens’

Virescens Western Red Cedar

arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’

Emerald Green Arborvitae

Arborvitae hedge plants
Types of arborvitae hedge
Thuja Plicata 'Virescens'
Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd'

arborvitae care and maintenance

Talking about care of arborvitae, they are generally quite low-maintenance, needing little to no supplemental water and light pruning. As we have discussed, however, some varieties grow a lot faster than others and will require more intensive pruning if a small, manicured hedge is desired. It is very important not to let your hedge get very large and then prune hard to regain control, as Thujas have limited latent buds and will not “fill in” like other hedge types. We have all seen the very ugly result of this poor management practice.
Keep on top of it and you won’t have any issues!

Emerald Green Arborvitae
has the lowest pruning requirements than other varieties (maybe of any plant!) to maintain as a tight hedge. Prune lightly once per year or as needed to shape.
mature arborvitae trees for sale
Thuja Occidentalis and Virescens Western Red Cedar will need yearly pruning to keep at an appropriate hedge size. These make wonderful mid-sized hedges.
Green Giant Arborvitae
is the most vigorous grower of the group and will in some years require 2 prunings to keep to a small size. This is a good option for a privacy hedge as it will reach a large size quickly.

arborvitae pruning tip

Prune the top half of the hedge to be slightly more narrow than the bottom half. This will prevent the lower foliage from shading out and will keep your hedge uniformly beautiful for years to come!

types of arborvitae

Light Requirements

Sun/shade requirements also make a difference when choosing the right from arborvitae types for your space. When a plant grows as tightly as these varieties, they tend to do poorly in overly shady environments. Poor air circulation and damp conditions cause the inner foliage to stay wet, providing a perfect place to harbor disease.There are some more shade-tolerant varieties along with the sun-lovers, shown in the following table:

light requirements

Emerald Green Arborvitae

needs full sun to stay healthy since it has extremely dense growth.

light requirements

American Arborvitae

and Virescens Western Red Cedar can both grow in full sun to partial shade.

light requirements

Green Giant Arborvitae

can grow in full sun, partial shade, or mostly shady environments, due to its loose and vigorous growth.

Deer Resistance

It carries varying levels of deer-resistance. Although there is no such thing as a 100% guaranteed deer-resistant , Green Giant does come pretty close!

Evergreen Arborvitae hedge at best prices

Green Giant Arborvitae

is deer-resistant. It can also be used to create a deer-proof hedge around other deer-favorites!

deer resistance

Virescens Western Red Cedar

is not a deer favorite by any means.
Very hungry deer may nibble, but they won’t be back for more.

evergreen arborvitae at best prices

Emerald Green Arborvitae

and Thuja Occidentalis are, unfornuately, well-loved by deer as well as humans. Other varieties should be considered for deer-heavy areas.

Designing with Arborvitae

Cedar have a wide range of uses, no secret to any landscape designer! They can be used alone as unpruned or topiaried specimens, and they are also excellent for hedging. Privacy hedges, lining driveways, and creating garden rooms are some of the best uses for this hedge. You can explore more hedging plants.

Privacy Hedges

Privacy
Hedges

The dense habit of this hedge means unparalleled privacy when used as a screen.

Lining
Driveways

Driveways get a stylish upgrade when lined with a luxurious cedar Hedge.

Lining Driveways
dark green arborvitae

Garden
Rooms

Different areas of a garden become more useful when designated for specific purposes. Section off a quiet area for reading and deep conversations with a tall dark green arborvitae hedge.

arborvitae care and maintenance

Arborvitae hedges are generally quite low-maintenance, needing little to no supplemental water and light pruning. As we have discussed, however, some varieties grow a lot faster than others and will require more intensive pruning if a small, manicured hedge is desired. It is very important not to let your Arborvitae as a hedge get very large and then prune hard to regain control, as Thujas have limited latent buds and will not “fill in” like other hedge types. We have all seen the very ugly result of this poor management practice.
Keep on top of it and you won’t have any issues!

Laurel hedge for sale

Emerald Green Arborvitae

has the lowest pruning requirements of any Arborvitae (maybe of any plant!) to maintain as a tight hedge. Prune lightly once per year or as needed to shape.

Types of arborvitae hedge

American Arborvitae and Virescens Western

Red Cedar will need yearly pruning to keep at an appropriate hedge size. These make wonderful mid-sized hedges.

laurel hedge plants

Green Giant Arborvitae

is the most vigorous grower of the group and will in some years require 2 prunings to keep to a small size. This is a good option for a privacy hedge as it will reach a large size quickly.

Emerald GreenAmericanVirescensGreen Giant
USDA Zone2-82-85-85-8
Sun/Shade
Growth RateSlowMedium FastMediumFast
Purne<1 per year1-2 per Year1 per Year1-2 per Year
DeerSusceptibleSusceptibleResistsntResistsnt

Designing with Arborvitae

Arborvitae have a wide range of uses, no secret to any landscape designer! They can be used alone as unpruned or topiaried specimens, and they are also excellent for hedging. Privacy hedges, lining driveways, and creating garden rooms are some of the best uses for this hedge.

Privacy Hedges

Privacy Hedges

The dense habit of Arborvitae means unparalleled privacy when used as a screen.

Lining Driveways

Lining Driveways

Driveways get a stylish upgrade when lined with a luxurious Arborvitae Hedge.

Garden Rooms

Garden Rooms

Different areas of a garden become more useful when designated for specific purposes. Section off a quiet area for reading and deep conversations with a tall Arborvitae hedge.