‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae, Thuja ‘Green Giant’
In the past few years Green Giant Arborviate has become a bit of an Internet sensation of the plant world. Often touted to grow as much as 36″ per year, being billed as the perfect plant for an instant evergreen hedge.
Sounds wonderful right? Not to me.
Admittedly there are some images online that make them look very desirable. So in all fairness to this fast growing evergreen, I’m sure there are places where it can be used effectively.
First of all, I concluded years ago that the quality of a plant is determined by how fast or slow the plant grows. Forsythia grows like a weed. For the most part, it is pretty much a weed. I’ve landscaped over 500 homes and not one time did I put a Forsythia in one of those landscapes. I just don’t like them.
For me many Arborviates fall into that same category. There are about three that I like and Green Giant is not really one of them. It grows too fast, gets way too tall too fast, and it is most certain to get pulled to the ground with a heavy, wet snowfall. Trust me, it will happen and from that day on getting them to stand straight again will be a “rest of your life” project.
I do have a couple of favorite Arborviates, they are Emerald Green, Dark Green, and Techeny Arborviate. Those are the three that I like the best.
How to Root Cuttings of Green Giant and other Arborviates.
Arborviate are actually pretty easy to grow from rooted cuttings. On this page I show you exactly how I do it.
To me, Techney Arborvitae, also known as Mission Arborviate, is the class of the field when looking for an arborvitae to use as an evergreen hedge or screen. They are more difficult to find, because they are slower growing and many growers prefer to grow one of the faster growing varieties. Dark Green Arborviate is a reasonable substituent if you can’t find Techney.
Emerald Green can be used as a hedge but you really have to use a double row of them staggered in order to get a nice tight hedge that you can’t see through. See the photos on this page.
Can You Make Money at Home Growing and Selling Arborviate Rooted Cuttings?
Absolutely you can! Just because I don’t personally care for Green Giant Arborvitae doesn’t mean that it is not a hot seller. It is. It’s a really hot seller. But then again, all arborvitaes are good sellers. Here’s the thing about arborviate. This is not a plant that people just one of two of. Everybody that buys them is looking to put in an evergreen hedge. All too often I hear about the neighbor and his antics that they no longer want to see. They want an evergreen hedge and they want it to fill in fast!
Inside of Our Members Area Green Giant Arborviate and all the other arborvitaes are super hot sellers. Members are always looking for Arborviates. Often times they have customers asking so they come to the members area looking to buy them. We actually have a buy/sell area for Canadian members so they can buy and sell to and from on another.
Large wholesale growers are often looking for additional rooted cuttings or liners that they can buy because their own supply often fails to keep up with the demand. Arborvitae really are hot sellers. The three that I think sell the best are Green Giant, Emerald Green, Dark Green and Techney.
Is Green Giant Arborviate Really Deer Proof?
Friend of mine had a field of arborviate plant near Lake Erie and there were plenty of deer around that field. Probably going down to the lake for a drink. He had three varieties in the field. Techney, Emerald Green and Green Giant. Hundreds of each of them. The deer ate the daylights out of the Emerald Green and Techney. The Green Giant? Not so much.
But I think that all this proves is that Green Giant is a bit deer resistant if you have plenty of other things near by that they would much rather eat because I hear lots of stories about deer eating Green Giant Arborviate.
We decided to make a movie, pretty much about my dislike of Green Giant Arborviate, and as we often do we decided to shoot the movie in the donkey pen as we often do. As we were shooting the movie Fergus took a bite out of the Green Giant Arborviate that I was holding. Then he came back for a second bite! What does that tell you? It must not have tasted that bad. Here’s the movie.
Why does Mike McGroarty Dislike Green Giant Arborviate So Much?
Because of all of the Internet hype about this plant I decided to buy a few hundred and plant them in the nursery just to see how they did. They grew fast. That’s really all I can say about them. After a couple of years they still looked like the dickens. My Emerald Green Arborviate and Dark Green Arborviate look really good in the same amount of time. Green Giant? Not so much.
That tells me all I need to know.
The grower next door had some that he let grow to a height of 60″. I still didn’t like them. I really have a difficult time recommending them to my customers. In the end I always end up showing them Dark Green or Emerald Green. If I had Techney I’d show them those. But currently I don’t have any.
So I still have Green Giant Arborviate in the nursery because I really have a difficult time selling things that I personally don’t like.
Hey Mike I live out on a lot of acreage it was going to plant the green giant for a privacy hedge. I am concerned about the deer my question is to fold will the deer leave it alone after a certain age of the tree if I protect the tree with a fence in the early years? And what do you think about the holly trees/shrubs?
Green Giant is probably the most deer resistant arborviate but I wouldn’t say deer proof. I don’t think the age of the tree matters. Not sure if deer eat holly plants or not.
Michael Dennis Rourke says
Mike, are the Giant Thuja, deer resistant? What evergreen is?
Green Giant arborvitae are the most deer resistant evergreen that I know of.
Cheryl Bryant says
planted two green giants last fall and deer ate the bottom 3 feet of them.. and this in my fenced in pool area!
Hmmm, I planted about a dozen Green Giants last year and went back for 5 more this spring for an area around a patio that is very exposed…… My landscaper planted his about 10 years ago in his yard and they are gorgeous… He has pruned them to open them up and they resemble a red cedar…. They do not look like an arborvitae… I need screening from a side neighbor and public path to the lake….. We put in a partial fence and these are planted more random instead of a hedge……I will be pruning them to get the desired form…..I often hear negative comments about shrubs or trees from people unwilling to use their pruners to control what could be an out of control size or shape. I live near a lake in a pine forest and the deer here are terrible….. They did a number on a couple of new trees in the fall, so will be wrapping them in Sept…..There are very few evergreens that the deer don’t love, such as spruce, but they are slow to grow and too large around the base. I am not sure what to make of the dimensions online for the giants…. Some say 8′ to 15′ max wide and some say 30 to 40’…. I am living amongst 100′ plus tall pines so having a 50′ giant thuga would not be an issue… We live in an older area with very large trees such as birch and maples that are in the 100′ height range… Im not afraid to cut something down if it doesn’t work…… Anyway, all the arborvitae look like skeletons in my neighborhood…. So they are not an option… The deer jump fences and devour them….My lot is not fen cable…. We are on a slope overlooks the lake and with a very strange lot line….We survived a brutal winter and the deer did not touch the green giants…..What do you recommend for heavily infested deer areas where the arborvitae will be devoured?
If they deer are leaving your Green Giant Arborvitae alone then that’s your best option.
k zaslow says
I live in the northwest where the deer are terrible. I have had great luck after living on 1/2 acre foe 13 years with Blue Spruce and Cedar Trees. Adding in some Blood Good Maples next to the house to show contrast,
So I was considering the green giant to plant where I had two large pine trees come down. However we have lots of deer. I want to plant something full and tall to act as a block to me neighbors and something that is maintenance free so what do you suggest instead of the green giant
Green Giant arborvitae is more deer resistant that most other arbs. Canadian Hemlock or spruce? They would be slower growing.
Does what you said about deers apply to goats? Do goats eat the Green Giant?
Goats have been known to eat the roof off of a car. Pretty sure they’ll eat green giants.
Hi Mike, Thank you for the info on all the arbor vitae. We have a deer problem and had to cut down old hemlocks. Now we are looking for a privacy hedge. What should we plant? Boxwoods and wait? Or get a fence that the deer can’t see through? City girl frustrated in the suburbs, Barbara
Lots of things I don’t know about your situation but a fence is always a great option.
We need a natural hedge backing our tennis court, so we planted many arborvitae last fall (unsure of variety) along the court fence. When winter was over, we were shocked! Every single tree, whether in a planter or in the ground, had all been eaten down to little sticks! Can you tell me the variety that you would suggest that deer would not eat? We live in a heavily wooded lot, so there should be lots of other things for them to munch on!
Green Giant is said to be deer resistant but I’d also use a good deer repellent just to be safe.
Keith and Mary says
Hi Mike, we just potted up some emerald green aborvartie, they are turning yellow and tips are turning brown on some. We have them in the shade. Dont know if Im giving too much water, or if I should put them in sun? We are in N.C. and the weather is changing, dont know if thats it either. Your advice once again would be most appreciated. Thanks, Keith and Mary
Keith and Mary,
Emerald Green are pretty easy. I’d move them to where they get some sun. If the potting soil mix drains as it should it’s difficult to over water. But if the mix doesn’t drain well then that’s a problem. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/10/how-to-make-your-own-awesome-potting-soil/, but the tips should not be brown. That means they are either too wet, too dry or possibly too much or the wrong kind of fertilizer.
keith and Mary Raynor says
Hi Mike, we have a bunch of rooted emerald greens, they are about 4 to 5 inches tall. can I or should I cut them to encourage them to branch out? They have about 1 inch of new growth. Your advice would be most appreciated. Thanks, Keith and Mary
Keith and Mary,
No, don’t cut them. With an arborvitae it’s important to make sure they grow with one single stem. Especially Emerald green. As a matter of fact, if any of them have more than one leader remove one of the leaders to make them single stem.
Keith and Mary Raynor says
Thanks Mike, thats good to know as some do have extra leaders. Well our mist system is up and running, and I have another question. We put in some red twig dogwood cuttings and some weigela, they are not happy? Our forsythia and euynomous are doing great. Did I cut them at the right time? I got some more shade cloth as sun does get in box where they are so to make sure its not the sun Im going to cover that area? We are in N.C. and the weather just started to get hot around high 80’s. I did cuttings of weigela last year in a rubbermaid tub with seed starter and we just transplanted them they had a good 2 to 3 inch root system. So, is it maybe they dont like sand? figured Id ask as I dont want to kill them, Id feel bad, Well we just want to say thanks for the help, it is much appreciated. Hoping to fill our 4 by 8 box and have a sale next year!! Getting excited ! We are still using tubs too! Well wishing you well and hope we all have a good year.
Keith and Mary, it’s possible that the cuttings were too soft but give them time they might be alright. You can get more cuttings in just a few weeks. Red Twig are tricky under mist, https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/mikes-plant-propagation-kit/, but the weigela should root easily. The sand is probably fine.
Ruth L says
I absolutely hate arborvitae…the only thing going for it, is that it is green year round. But that’s just me, since I’m very allergic to it and always had to trim it as a kid.
Jim Coulter says
The Deer enjoy munching on ours, you can always tell when they have been there, the lower half is trimmed close to the trunk!
After the dear eat them, do they ever grow back? Or are they destroyed forever?
When deer do serious damage to an evergreen it would take the plant a long time to come back and in the mean time the deer are like to eat it again if they ate it the first winter.