How to Plant Emerald Green


The emerald green tree (Thuja occidentalis), also called arborvitae, is a pyramid-shaped member of the cypress family. A vibrant green color, its very small leaves are soft to touch. Emerald green grows up to 30 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter. This tree makes an excellent addition to your property if you enjoy wildlife, as it provides both shelter and a source of food for many animals. The emerald green tree does best when planted in full sun and rich, well-drained soil.

Step 1

Remove all grass and weeds from the desired planting location.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice the diameter and the same depth as the root ball of the emerald green tree. Carefully remove the burlap or other covering from the tree and use your fingers to loosen any compacted roots.

Step 3

Place the root ball into the hole and carefully arrange the roots so that they are not bunched up.

Step 4

Pour approximately 1 quart of water into the planting hole. After the water has been absorbed, replace half the soil and press down firmly with your shoe. Add the rest of the loosened soil and press it down once again. Add enough additional water to moisten, but not soak, the top of the soil.

Step 5

Add a 3 to 4-inch layer of organic mulch to conserve moisture and prevent the growth of weeds. Continue to water emerald green whenever the top inch of soil feels dry during the first growing season.

Step 6

Place three stakes around the tree about 2 feet from the tips of the branches. Use clothesline to anchor the tree to the stakes. Be careful not to tie it too tightly, as the young tree needs to be able to move to develop a sturdy root system. Check often that the stakes aren't causing damage to the tree and remove them when the tree is established, in approximately five months.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic mulch
  • Stakes
  • Clothesline


  • Yardener: Planting Arborvitae
  • About Arborvitae: Arborvitae
  • Nurserymen: Evergreen Tree Planting Instructions
  • Tree Grower's Diary: Emerald Green Arborvitae

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: plant emerald green, emerald green tree, grow emerald green, arborvitae, evergreen trees

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.