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Everything You Need to Know About Thuja Green Giant Trees

Thuja Green Giant trees are sturdy and adaptable evergreens, with lush green leaves year-round and impressive annual growth.

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 02/08/2024

If you’re looking for a robust tree that can provide year-round color and excellent privacy, look no further than the Thuja Green Giant, also known as Green Giant Aborvitae. This fast-growing evergreen can create a stylish barrier between you and your neighbors in a few short years. But is it the right choice for you?

Thuja Green Giants at a Glance

Rapid growth to up to 60 feet
Green year-round
Tolerant of insects, disease, and adverse weather conditions
No need to prune

Read on to learn all the details on Thuja Green Giant trees, from their appearance to their lifespan and the zones they thrive in.


The name Thuja Green Giant is aptly named. These trees can grow up to 3 feet per year until maturity in ideal growing conditions. Their ultimate height is 50-60 feet tall and their width can be up to 12-20 feet. Thuja Green Giants grow in a uniform, columnar shape, without homeowners having to worry about pruning or shearing.

Thuja Green Giants are large, dense, and pyramidal with a rich green hue in spring and summer and a darker, bronzer shade in winter. Their tiny, glossy, scale-like leaves are packed tightly together and overlap, creating a fan of foliage.


Thuja Giant Trees can either be planted as “specimen” trees—as individual plants to accent a yard—or in clusters to create a dense hedge. You can plant one every 5-6 feet to create a natural fence, shielding you from neighbors, busy streets, or unsightly views. Another option is two staggered rows of trees spaced 10 feet apart to help reduce noise. This large, living privacy screen can also act as a wind-break.

Details on Thuja Green Giants



Pyramidal with glossy, scale-like leaves


50-60 feet tall, 12-20 feet wide

Hardiness Zones


Type of tree


Sunlight requirements

Full sun to partial shade, minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight per day

Soil composition

Acidic or alkaline, heavy clay or sandy


Up to 40 years

Ideal Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the areas where plants thrive. There are 11 zones total, and each growing zone is 10 degrees Fahrenheit colder or warmer each winter than the adjacent one. These tools can help gardeners decide the best plants for their area.

Thuja Green Giants thrive in Hardiness Zones 5-9, predominantly in the Southeastern states. Within that area, they perform best in Hardiness Zones 6-8.

Planting Process

The best time to plant Thuja Green Giants is spring or fall, when the weather is cool but not cold. That way, the trees can grow roots before the cold of winter or heat of summer, which can cause stress and hinder growth

Start by removing any weeds or turfgrass, and clearing debris. Next, loosen the soil with a spade. When you’re ready to dig the hole, be careful not to dig too deep—that can cause the soil beneath the tree to settle after you water, making your tree sink. You want the hole to be twice as wide as the root ball of the tree, but only as deep as the root ball’s height.

Remove the root ball from the container and tease it apart before setting it upright in the hole. Backfill the hole, and lightly tamp the soil to firm it up. Give the area about 1 inch of water, and apply 2-3 inches of mulch.

Growing Conditions

Before you decide whether you’d like to invest in one or several Thuja Green Giants, you should learn about the best ways to plant and grow them.

Thuja Green Giants are highly adaptable and can grow well in the spectrum from full sun to partial shade. These trees do best with a minimum of four hours of direct and unfiltered sunlight per day.
Thuja Green Giants are not picky when it comes to soil. They can tolerate a wide variety of soil textures—adapting easily to heavy clay or sandy garden soils, and both alkaline and acidic soils. However, they are fairly sensitive to salt, and as such should not be planted near roads that get a lot of traffic.
Moist soil is ideal for Thuja Green Giants, but people must be careful to not let the soil get soggy. Thuja Green Giants require deep, irregular waterings of about 1 inch per week. Consider laying a 2-3 inch layer of mulch over the soil to help retain moisture and protect the roots from temperature fluctuations.
On average, Thuja Green Giants live for up to 40 years in ideal growing conditions.


Thuja Green Giants are known as robust, hardy trees. They do not suffer from common issues like bagworm. These trees are tolerant of:

  • Drought
  • Disease and fungus
  • Insects
  • Heat and humidity
  • Wind
  • Ice and snow

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Thuja Green Giants turn brown in winter?

No. These evergreens stay green year-round, but do take on a deeper, bronzer hue in the winter.

Are the roots invasive?

Thuja Green Giant roots are not known to be invasive or aggressive.

Can Thuja Green Giants grow in shade?

Thuja Green Giants can grow in a range from full sun to partial shade. They need at least four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day.

Do they attract wildlife?

Thuja Green Giants have been known to attract deer, although not as much as other evergreens. If you live in more rural areas, you might want to consider putting up temporary deer fencing until the trees have time to grow over eight feet. Additionally, birds may nest in them in the spring and summer and feed on the seeds and foliage.

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