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Green Giants Growth Hacks: Turbocharge Your Arborvitae!

Green Giants Growth Hacks: Turbocharge Your Arborvitae!


Welcome to the world of Arborvitae, where towering Green Giants grace our landscapes. In this article, we’ll uncover the secrets to turbocharge your Arborvitae growth. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a newcomer, these growth hacks will help you nurture magnificent Green Giants in your garden.

What Are Green Giants?

Green Giants, or Thuja, are a group of evergreen trees and shrubs that belong to the Cypress family, Cupressaceae. They are known for their rapid growth and towering height, making them a popular choice for creating privacy screens, hedges, and adding green beauty to your outdoor space. It can add heights of 3–5 feet annually. However, there is a catch to it. It won’t grow like a weed if you merely plant it. If you want your wonderful green beauty to grow that quickly, I have some tips for you.

My Personal Story

I’ve been eager to put pen to paper on this topic for some time now to share my delight at watching our Green Giants thrive over the past several years. Although our friends and neighbors scoffed at us when we originally planted these small babies, they are now praising our efforts.

When we first moved into our house in 2015, the neighborhood was very new, with only ten homes, and almost no trees, especially across property lines, since most had been removed by the developer. We wanted to put in some privacy hedges but didn’t want to break the bank doing it.

There needed to be a lot of trees on our one acre land; 80 to be exact. Even if we were to luck out and find each tree for only $25 or even $15, the total cost would still be very substantial. While this is certainly not an enormous fortune, I preferred to spend much less. After all, we’re the gardeners here.

We decided to purchase some trees through eBay. When we first started off with 60 newborn Green Giants, we rapidly ran out and had to go out and get another 20.

60 Green Giants (Arborvitae) US $359.99

  We planted our first border of 25 trees between our house and next door neighbor’s house, spaced 5 feet apart.  

Green Giant Arborvitae planted in May 2016, barely taller than our grass.

We began our strict watering routine. We installed a soaker hose which ran on a timer every other day as the summers get really hot here in Charlotte, NC, and we wanted to make sure our trees started growing a healthy root system without drying out.

One year old Green Giant Arborvitae June 24, 2017

As you see here, our Green Giants Arborvitae, grew at least 2 to 3 feet in a year. However, we were not impressed with the growth, we thought the trees should be a little fuller and a little greener. We figured the basic fertilizer was a bit on the weak side and now that we had even more Green Giants planted inside the fence, we needed to get a little more aggressive with our nutrient boosting feeding schedule.

We began a strict monthly fertilization schedule with Espoma HT50 Organic 4-3-4 Holly Tone Fertilizer

Its actually amazing how fast this stuff works, it boosts growth pretty much overnight.

Green Giants Arborvitae June 6, 2018 (over 6 ft tall)

As you see in the pic above, the growth really picked up. The trees were now a good 6 feet tall, even though it was just with a long thin tip, they were still healthy green and bushy.

Huge progress for literally planting twigs.

We still continued fertilizing once a month during the growth season.

Understanding Green Giants

Before we dive into the growth hacks, let’s understand what makes Arborvitae, often referred to as Green Giants, so special. These evergreen trees, scientifically known as Thuja, are renowned for their impressive size, lush foliage, and versatility in landscaping.

What Are Green Giants?

Green Giants, or Thuja, are a group of evergreen trees and shrubs that belong to the Cypress family, Cupressaceae. They are known for their rapid growth and towering height, making them a popular choice for creating privacy screens, hedges, and adding green beauty to your outdoor space.

Why Choose Green Giants?

There are several compelling reasons to choose Green Giants for your landscape:

  • **Fast Growth:** Green Giants are one of the fastest-growing evergreens, allowing you to enjoy a mature and dense green screen in a relatively short time.
  • **Year-Round Privacy:** Their dense, vibrant foliage provides year-round privacy and acts as a windbreak, making your outdoor space more comfortable.
  • **Low Maintenance:** These trees are relatively low-maintenance, making them ideal for both experienced gardeners and beginners.
  • **Versatility:** Green Giants can be used in various landscaping styles, from formal hedges to informal screens, and they adapt well to different soil types.

Green Giants Growth Hacks

Now, let’s explore the growth hacks that will help you turbocharge your Arborvitae and create a stunning landscape.

1. Proper Planting

Planting your Green Giants correctly is the foundation of successful growth. Follow these steps:

  1. **Choose the Right Location:** Select a site with well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.
  2. **Plant at the Right Depth:** Ensure the root ball is level with the surrounding soil and water thoroughly after planting.
  3. **Spacing:** Leave adequate space between trees to allow for proper air circulation and future growth.
  4. **Mulch:** Apply a layer of mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

2. Adequate Watering

Proper watering is crucial, especially during the initial growth stages:

  • **Deep Watering:** Water deeply to encourage deep root growth. Regular, deep watering is better than frequent shallow watering.
  • **Moisture Monitoring:** Use a moisture meter to gauge soil moisture levels and water when needed.
  • **Rainfall Complement:** During dry spells, supplement rainfall with irrigation to keep the soil consistently moist.

3. Pruning and Trimming

Regular pruning and trimming will help shape your Green Giants and keep them healthy:

  • **Early Pruning:** Start pruning in the first year to establish the desired shape and encourage branching.
  • **Minimal Cutting:** Avoid cutting into old wood, as Green Giants may not regenerate growth from bare branches.
  • **Timing:** The best time for major pruning is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

4. Fertilizing Techniques

Proper fertilization ensures your Green Giants have the nutrients they need:

  • **Balanced Fertilizer:** Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to promote healthy growth. Apply in spring.
  • **Soil Testing:** Conduct soil tests to determine specific nutrient deficiencies and adjust your fertilizer accordingly.
  • **Avoid Overfeeding:** Over-fertilization can harm your Arborvitae, so follow recommended guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Are the Most Common Types of Green Giants?

Some of the most common Green Giants include Thuja Green Giant, Thuja Occidentalis, and Thuja Plicata. Each has its unique characteristics and growth patterns.

How Fast Can I Expect My Green Giants to Grow?

Green Giants are known for their rapid growth, typically averaging around 3 feet per year under optimal conditions. However, growth rates may vary based on factors such as soil quality and climate.

Can I Plant Green Giants in Containers?

While Green Giants are often grown as large landscape trees, they are not suitable for container planting due to their eventual size and need for space to thrive.

When Is the Best Time to Prune Green Giants?

The best time for major pruning is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. However, light pruning and trimming can be done throughout the year to maintain shape and health.


With the right knowledge and care, you can transform your outdoor space into a lush haven with magnificent Green Giants. By following these growth hacks and understanding the needs of your Arborvitae, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving and vibrant landscape that offers privacy and natural beauty throughout the year. So, start implementing these strategies and watch your Green Giants flourish!

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