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Boxwood & Boxwood Substitutes Compare
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Green Mountain
Green Mountain Boxwood (Buxus x ‘Green Mountain’) is an extremely popular boxwood. It has great cold tolerance and is one of the most naturally resistant to Boxwood Blight. It is deer and rabbit resistant and grows well in full sun to shade. It is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.
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Schmidt
Schmidt Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Schmidt’) is a lesser-known boxwood variety but has a desirable tall and narrow growth habit making it great for hedging. It is deer resistant and grows in full sun to partial shade. It is hardy in USDA Zones 5-8.
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Box Honeysuckle
Box Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida) is lovely hedge in its own right but also makes a great boxwood substitute for areas with Boxwood Blight. The foliage is evergreen and very similar to boxwood. It is deer resistant, takes full sun to full shade, and grows in USDA Zones 6-9.
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Hick's Yew
Hicks Yew (Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’) is the best hedge for deep shade locations, although it also thrives in full sun. This is a naturally narrow plant, so it is good for small spaces. It has evergreen needles and bright red fruits. Hicks Yew is hardy to USDA Zones 5-8.
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Little Simon
Little Simon Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Little Simon’) is a dwarf selection of Emerald Green that only reaches 3-4’ tall. It is a great boxwood substitute for colder regions and blight-susceptible areas. It grows best in full sun and is hardy in USDA Zones 3-8.
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Teton Firethorn
Teton Firethorn (Pyracantha ‘Teton’) is an evergreen hedge that boasts billows of white flowers in spring, followed by bright orange fruits that feed birds through winter. Sharp thorns keep deer away. It grows well in full sun to shade and is hardy in USDA Zones 6-9.
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Sizes
Our hedges come in multiple, convenient sizes. Learn about which hedge size option will work best for your project, from our 18-24” tall MiniHedge to our 5-6’ tall InstantHedge. See detailed dimensions for all of our different hedge sizes, including root balls.
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Containers
You have multiple options for the kind of container in which your InstantHedge is shipped. Learn about our standard Biodegradable Cardboard Boxes, as well as the fabric bag and cedar box options. This page will lead you to the best choice for your project.
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Installation
InstantHedge is a unique product and the planting process is very unlike installing a traditional hedge. This page takes you step by step through the easy process of how to plant an InstantHedge. No doubt about it, it’s the fastest way to plant a hedge.
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About Us
Learn about our company’s past and present, and all about how we introduced this revolutionary product to the US market. You can also get a peek at our farm and meet our team of hedge experts who make all the hedge magic happen!
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Distributors
Find out where you can purchase our hedges in your area, whether you are a retail or wholesale buyer. We have exclusive wholesale distributors in some states, and this is where you can connect with them.
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Projects
See real-life examples of our hedges being used in projects all over the country. These photos are provided by our customers and can be used as inspiration for a wide range of uses, from commercial to residential. You can find customer reviews here as well.
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FAQ
Got questions? Of course you do! And chances are, many others have had the same questions. We know that with an unusual product like our hedges there are always many questions. We answer some common questions here on this FAQ page, so it’s a great place to start.
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EMERALD GREEN ARBORVITAE

Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd'

Emerald Green Arborvitae is one of the thickest evergreens you can plant. The hedge creates a neat, crisp look that hardly needs pruning. Also known as Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd', this dense evergreen hedge holds its rich colors and sturdy form throughout the seasons, making it an excellent hedge choice. This evergreen hedge is slow growing with brilliant green foliage. This highly adaptable tree also thrives in the hotter and more humid climates of the Southeast, making it a popular hedge in that region as well as the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast.

EMERALD GREEN ARBORVITAE QUICK GUIDE

Emerald green arborvitae growing region

There are a number of immediate benefits to choosing Emerald Green Arborvitae for your next hedge:

  • Keeps its deep emerald color through the winter
  • Emerald Green arborvitae tolerates dry spells once it is established
  • An especially great shrub for taller privacy hedges or screens
  • Ideal for small yards and other tight areas

THUJA OCCIDENTALIS SMARAGD DETAILS

With a narrow pyramidal habit, Emerald Green Arborvitae has a great natural shape for hedging and also responds well to regular pruning.

Emerald Green is disease resistant and easy to grow, making it a popular low-maintenance hedge.

The Emerald Green Arborvitae performs well in a variety of soil and weather conditions, including snow and ice. Even the coldest of winters, the tree maintains its shape and color.

Its rich foliage and attractive narrow form make the tree an excellent choice to plant in a row for a formal screen.

Emerald Green Arborvitae prefers loamy, well-drained soil with consistent moisture.

The common name of arborvitae, or “tree of life”, comes from the early settlers in North America who learned from Native Americans that the tree’s foliage, sap, bark and twigs had medicinal properties.

USDA Hardiness Zones:3 - 8
Your Hardiness Zone:
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Sun/Shade:Full Sun to light shade
Deer Resistance:No
Watering Requirements:Weekly, or more often in extreme heat
Growth Rate:Moderate
Mature Size:Up to 12’ height and 3’ width
Drought Tolerance:Moderate
West Coast - Sunset Heat Zones: 1 - 9, 15 - 17 and 21 - 24; H1, H2
Pest/Disease Issues:
No major pest or disease issues. Leaf miner and spider mites, root rot and phytophthora are all possibilities.

Buy your Hedge

Every kind of Hedge imaginable, delivered.

Want to go big and Instant? Or would you rather start small? InstantHedge® now offers ways to buy hedges in all sizes and quantities.

Retail Customers
From 2-3 year old starts to finished hedges
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Wholesale Buyer
Finished Hedges - From a few pallets to full truck loads
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*Wholesale pricing is strictly extended to members of the green industry - including but not limited to: Landscape Companies, Garden Centers, Landscape Suppliers, and Landscape Architects.
We reserve the right to review all customer applications and eligibility for wholesale pricing.

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Landscape Gallery

  • 139789426-Thuja-emerald-green-park-garden-estate

    This long row of Eemerald Green arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd') InstantHedge forms a literal wall along this grassy lawn.

  • 222618085-thuja-arborvitae-hedge-privacy-tall-fast-growing-swimming-pool-landscape-garden-suburban-modern-contemporary-summer-flowers

    Swimming areas need optimum privacy and wind protection, amply provided by this dense Emerald Green Arborvitae hedge.

  • 123201_140-Thuja-Emerald-Green-Smaragd-residential-suburban

    This backyard area is made much more private from surrounding residences through the use of an arborvitae (Thuja) InstantHedge.

WHY PLANT AN EMERALD GREEN ARBORVITAE HEDGE?

If you live anywhere between Zones 3-8, you have definitely seen Emerald Green Arborvitae growing in landscapes. It is a very common landscape plant, which has given it something of a bad name in certain circles. We hear quite often, “I do NOT want an arborvitae hedge.” We think the main reason for this is that we often see mistreated arborvitae hedges that are either pruned incorrectly or planted in the wrong spot. When treated well, which isn’t difficult as they are very low-maintenance, they can create a truly stunning hedge that provides privacy and year-round beauty.

GROWTH RATE

Smaragd, or Emerald Green, is a semi-dwarf selection of Thuja occidentalis. It was selected as a seedling in Denmark in 1950. It was extremely desirable due to several features, one being its slow growth rate. Thuja Emerald Green Arborvitae can grow up to 1 foot per year, and grows nearly straight up. Pruning is extremely simple with such slow growers, and can usually be done just lightly once per year. As with most conifers, pruning should be done consistently and lightly to avoid unsightly browning. We have all seen ugly, brown arborvitae hedges that have been not-so-lovingly pruned with chain-saws. Their bare branches are exposed, and they will never grow back. It is easy to avoid this simply by pruning regularly!

GROWTH HABIT

Another desirable trait is their tall, narrow growth habit. At 10 years old, you could expect to see a plant 6-8’ tall and 18” wide. These natural pillars are perfect for creating low-maintenance hedges that fit perfectly into narrow spaces and small yards. It is best to prune once per year simply to maintain density, but you can do it very lightly.

COLOR

“Smaragd” is the Danish word for “emerald”, which refers to its rich, bright color all year. It is very unusual for any kind of Arborvitae to show this kind of color at any time of year, and Smaragd boasts it year-round. It is truly striking and adds depth and richness to any garden design.

COLD-HARDINESS

Emerald Arborvitae is a variety of American Arborvitae, which is native to the Northern United States and Canada. It is hardy to USDA Zone 3, which makes it eligible for many colder regions of the United States, and it also grows well into Zone 8 and sometimes 9.

DROUGHT AND DISEASE RESISTANCE

Once established, The hedge is quite drought-resistant. During the establishment period, though, ample water is important for the health of the plants. It can also withstand short periods of standing water in winter, but does best in a well-draining soil. It does best in full sun but can take a little bit of shade if needed. Since it is so dense, too much shade can cause it to lose some of its fullness and vigor. Emerald Green Arborvitae has almost no trouble with disease, and it is very easy to grow.

WHY CHOOSE INSTANTHEDGE FOR EMERALD GREEN ARBORVITAE?

Emerald Green Arborvitae grows slowly, but creates a wonderful privacy hedge. Usually, people will either start with small plants to save costs or plant very large ball and burlap plants for quick privacy. Both of these options have their own issues, with the former meaning a long wait for privacy and potential losses, and the latter having major loss issues and planting difficulty. The top-heavy plants can also shift in the wind and soil settling, causing the hedge to become crooked.

We are frequently asked how far apart to plant Emerald Green Arborvitae for a hedge. Conventional advice is to use spacing of 18 inches to 4′ apart for Smaragd trees, depending on the desired final height of the hedge and the size of the starter plants. This is not very precise guidance, and has left many a gardener, landscaper, and designer wondering what the correct answer might be. With an Emerald Green Arborvitae InstantHedge, the spacing is done for you! Each plant is grown 10″ apart to create a perfect hedge. All you need to do is place the pre-finished hedge units end to end in your trench and that’s all there is to it.

When you buy an Emerald Green Arborvitae from InstantHedge, you can start with your ideal height and then just sit back and relax. No worrying, no fussing, no waiting. Sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. Be kind to yourself and get a quote for your next project today.