Thuja Green Giant can
grow 3' per year. They usually lose about one growing season after being moved. Thuja Green Giant is one of the the best privacy
trees, they quickly make a wall or hedge of green that is attractive and natural.
Thuja x 'Green Giant'Arborvitae, Makes an excellent privacy screen. An evergreen
that can grow to a mature height of 30-50', Mature spread of 10-15', Many people plant these from 5 to 6' apart for a quick
privacy screen. It has green foliage, broad pyramidal habit, requires full to 3/4 sun, rapid growth, Slightly bronze winter
foliage. Thuja Green Giant have the reputation of being the most Deer resistant of Arborvitae. David Watterson
recommends these for Long Island due to the deer resistance quality and these are good to 1 zone colder than Leylands, which
could make a difference if there was an extreme winter during the first year after planting.
Thuja Green Giant is a great tree to consider
if you have heavy deer traffic on your property and they are currently eating other plants there. Green Giants grow almost
as fast and deer don't like them for food.
Leylands Cypress are safe to zone 6(Long Island),
Thuja green Giant are good to zone 5 (CT, RI, etc).
In the Hamptons area of Long Island, go to LESCO near Lynches
in Southampton and get slow release, 14-14-14, 40 lb bags are only $18.
Use 1 lb for each inch of trunk diameter, so 12'
tree gets 3 16 oz drink cups around the rootball, NOT DOWN IN THE HOLE. It will feed for 4 months if you use it as top dressing
like it should be. One bag will do 10 12' Leylands.
In the south I like Nursery Special by STA-GREEN.
For Ball and Burlap (field-grown) trees, I add all I can hold in two hands down in with rootball for the 7' size tree, twice
that for 10' trees. It will be released slowly and trees that have had their roots cut need nutrition!
Click here for more info
I will say if you are planting in the fall, Nellie
Stevens or Dan Fenton hollies or evergreens like Leyland Cypres or Thuja Green Giant be sure to not cut any corners with fertilizer
as those trees stay active all winter.
If you plant decidious trees like Sunset Red
Maples, October Glory Maples, Red Maples, River Birch, Zelkova or Crepe Myrtles in the fall , you won't won't need
quite as much slow-release fertilizer since they will go dormant after their leaves drop. I would give them all you can hold
in one hand down in each hole.
Be sure and use a slow-release fertilizer like
Nursery Special by STA-GREEN for newly planted trees. You could actually stress your new trees with fast release nitrogen
fertilizer because that encourages the top of the tree to grow. If you have ball and burlap, field grown trees you have 100%
of the trees limbs and trunk, and maybe 1/3 of the root system, so you need some nitrogen but not alot. The first two years
after a tree is planted, they should be fertilized twice a year, April 1 and September 1. Nursery Special by STA-GREEN
is 12-4-5. The key is the slow release of the Nitrogen. I buy my fertilizer at Hill's lawn and garden in Thomasville, NC.
Another great product available all up and down the east coast is slow release by LESCO, 14-14-14 in 40 lb bags.
SPACING Thujas Green Giant
Plant between 5 and 10' apart depending on
your goals, if you have some width to work with, plant the zig-zag pattern, you get the stonger root system that goes with
10' spacing, but the appearance of trees 5' apart. Ten' Leylands are 4' wide, so if you either plant them 5' apart or plant
two rows at 10' spacing with staggered trees, you have a wall of green in short order. Leylands need at least 1/2 sun and
good drainage to grow best.
I planted a row recently 3' apart on center.
The customer is planning to make a hedgerow of Leylands. It is ok to plant them this close when you are planning to "top"
them off, like he is. He is planning to "top" the row at about 8' tall with hedge clippers.
Thuja Green Giant Arborvitae Planting -Staking Methods
Select the Proper Tree Stakes
Your choice of tree stakes is partly dependent on what
trees you plant and the variety. I don't think any tree
catches the wind like a Leyland Cypress or Thuja Green
Giant! I know some
landscapers feel like it could keep the tree from becoming
strong if you stake them. I have come
back 1 week later to
look at trees we planted and the homeowner had already let
the family gardener remove my stakes
so the trees would
become stronger! I disagree. A newly planted tree will not
be perfectly rooted when the first winter
comes, and the
weight of ice and snow will probably pull it over 30 degrees
or so. If you are not watching and
straightening them up,
they will attach roots in that position and you have to
really harm the root system to straighten
up the tree. Even
if you have a Ball and Burlap (B&B) tree with a heavy root
ball and you feel there is no way
the root ball will shift,
the wind blowing the trunk back and forth will break the
trunk loose in the root ball and
the tree will die. If it is
a Leyland Cypress, it will "wilt" or "droop" within about
two weeks, and the damage is
Six foot metal fence posts are the best choice for ten
twelve foot Leyland Cypress trees. Leyland Cypress trees are
top-heavy, and catch the wind like a sail! I like
fence posts called TEE-posts. The average price is $3.39
each. If you don’t already have one, purchase
a fence post
driver wherever you buy your posts. They cost about $16-$19.
Using this tool makes driving the
posts easier and could
prevent metal chips from striking your face.
Rebar tree stakes are recommended for very hard ground.
have planted in rocky ground where you couldn’t drive a
metal fencepost in the ground, but you can always
rebar with a 2 lb hammer. Buy them already cut to 2' lengths
at Lowe’s or Home depot for 99 cents
each. After your trees
are all tied, slip a piece of garden hose over the re-bar,
and cut the hose off about 4" longer
than the rebar. This
will prevent injury if someone falls on the tree stake.
Staking with 2" X 2" pointed stakes is recommended for
deciduous trees, even if they are ten footers that weighs
500 lbs. These include trees like Sunset Red Maples, October
Glory Maples, Dan Fenton Hollies, Nellie Stevens Hollies,
River Birch, Crepe Myrtles. These trees are fine with the
stakes, especially if the hole is tight like it should be,
because these trees don't "catch" the wind like a Leyland
Cypress or Arborvitae will. This size tree stake is also
fine for smaller Leyland Cypress and Arborvitae trees, 6'
smaller. A good place to buy is an equipment rental place.
The stakes come in bundles of 12 and can be loaded on
truck with a forklift. They can also be found at Home Depot
Positioning tree stakes - Leyland Cypress and Arborvitae
usually planted in a straight row or a zigzag pattern. For a
straight row, drive your stakes in line with the
perimeter of greenery, and in between the tree trunks. Each
tree will be secured in four directions, tying to
"in front" of the line of trees, and two stakes "in back" of
the line. The "end" tree only gets tied three
a "Y" formation, because on the end of the row you won't put
two stakes, just one which is in line with
the tree trunks.
Using the above technique, all trees are tied in 4
directions, except the end trees are tied in 3,
and it only
costs you 2 stakes per the number of trees you planted.
Leyland Cypress or Arborvitae need to be staked
three directions because they are top heavy and catch wind.
Securing the trees and stakes - For large trees eight foot
and taller, use aluminum electric fence wire. Push it
through an 18" piece of garden hose where it wraps around
the trunk. Never secure tree stakes to just a limb; always
wrap around the trunk. If it is not convenient for you
pick up electric fence wire or you just don't want to pay
for that size roll, you can use rebar wire. It is available
at every Lowe’s or Home Depot near the concrete in small
rolls the size of a doughnut for about $4. The disadvantage
of rebar wire is it will rust and sometimes is rusty when
you buy it. For smaller trees, 6' and under, use any type
of nylon rope. I use something called pro-series 550/2t
tying twine, made by CWC and available at A.M. Leonard
internet sales delivered to your door. It will disintegrate
out in the weather after about 1 season which is as long
you need smaller trees to be staked. I leave the stakes and
ties in the ground through the first winter for
trees, sometimes 1 full year.
Thuja Green Giant in Shade
Thuja Green Giant in shade. Cut out some
trees or Limbs if directly overhead to let in more light. Leylands
seem uneffected by a row of tall trees or woods along side of them. They grow slower if under a canopy of shade, though, even
if the canopy is "way up there" and there seems to be alot of morning or afternoon sun coming in from the side. They will
live under a canopy, but not grow fast. I have been hapily surprized at how well Leylands do on Long Island under scrub
oaks. It may be because they shed thier leaves about a month before decidious trees in the south do, and grow leaves again
in the spring about a month after trees in the south, so all winter they get full sun.
Fall Planting Considerations
Our standard advice is to not plant Leylands or Thujas after Oct 15, if you are located in VA or north of there. We are primarily
talking about Ball and Burlap trees (which is our best seller) since they need to recover from having their roots cut when
dug. It is not as risky to plant container grown Leyland Cypress or Thuja Green Giants, of course because their root system
has not been wounded in any way. We just planted 147 six foot Leylands in Richmond, VA on Jan 9 and 10 this year(2009).
When you plant Thuja Green Giant in late fall, use Triple Phos
fertilizer, usually 0-45-0 or 0-46-0 to encourage root growth only until spring. You don't want high nitrogen in late winter.
If you are fertilizing other than late fall, a good schedule is last week of March and first week of September, either 14-14-14
slow release in 40 lb bags from LESCO or Nursery Special slow release in 50 lb bags. Use 1 lb per inch of truck diameter.
For 12' trees, a 40 lb bag does about 10 or 12 trees, sprinkled around the drip line. If you are planting B&B trees, don't
apply slow release down in the hole like I did for many years. It is meant to be top dressing, will dissolve too fast if in
contact with that much more water than on top. Good slow release can feed for 4 months if applied correctly. For Leyland Cypress
or Thuja Green Giants, I don't recommend Holly Tone even though it is made for evergreens.
Best time to plant Thuja Green Giant B&B trees is early
spring, around April 1. This gives them sufficient time to recover before their first test, being the hot summer. However,
the biggest test is the first winter. I say that because if you live far enough north to have frozen hoses, all watering usually
stops with the first freeze. The cold isn't the test, the lack of water is the test. It is called winter burn. Winter winds
dry out the greenery on Leyland Cypress or Thuja Green Giant, so the outer few inches turn brown. Around April 1, it is recommended
that you take hedge trimmers and trim off all the brown. Trees should put out new growth and be fine by the end of May.