Green Giant Arborvitae Fact Sheet


Green giant arborvitae trees are popular landscape trees because they grow quickly and are highly disease- and drought-resistant. However, it is important to understand how these trees grow and what can bring them down so that you can effectively care for and maintain your green giant and enjoy it for years to come. Knowing the signs and symptoms of diseases and optimum conditions for green giant growth will help you care for your green giant arborvitae.

Growth Patterns

Green giants tend to grow 3 to 5 feet per year until they reach about 50 feet in height. Compared to other evergreens they have a fairly narrow spread, the diameter of the tree, extending 6 to 8 feet. The tree prefers well-drained soil, and can grow nearly anywhere if it makes it to maturity. Green giants do not suffer snow or ice damage even under the weight of heavy snows, and they also resist hot, humid or arid summers.

Uses in Landscaping

Green giants are popular for a variety of landscaping uses. Because they have a natural pyramid shape, they are a pleasant addition in single form to any yard. Planted in rows, they create a dense, natural screen. If you want a very close screen, plant the trees 6 feet apart. If you want a clearer screen, plant the trees closer to 8 feet apart. These trees are ideal for areas that have large deer populations because they are deer-resistant.

Pests and Problems

Green giants are low-maintenance and generally need next to no care once they reach maturity at around three years. If you are raising young trees, however, make sure that they are planted in well-drained soil and water them if the soil around the tree gets completely dry. If you notice that the leaves are wilting even when the soil is moist, you may have root rot. Water in the early morning to help avoid this. If you notice defoliation, brown leaves or spots on the leaves or branches, use sterile pruning techniques to remove affected areas and either burn them or throw them away in plastic bags so that the infection does not return to the tree from debris on the ground.


The green giant is an evergreen, which means that it retains its dark green foliage year-round. However, some trees will develop a darker tint during the winter or even a slight bronze color. This is not leaf scorch, but a natural change on the tree.


The green giant arborvitae has received awards for its hardiness and appeal. It is a United States National Arboretum Elite Plant. It also received a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant Award in 1998.

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Carole VanSickle has over five years experience working with scientists and creative scholars to promote and explain their work. She is based in Atlanta, Ga., and specializes in scientific, medical and technical writing, SEO and educational content.