How to Grow Thuja


Thuja is often called the "Green Giant" for good reason. This fast-growing evergreen conifer can grow up to 60 feet tall. Slim and conical in shape, the thuja is extremely easy to grow. It is very hardy, thrives in most soils and climates, and is rarely affected by insect pests or tree diseases. Once established, the thuja tree requires very little care, although it does need pruning if you want to keep it at a reasonable height. Thuja trees are often planted close together and grown as privacy hedges.

Step 1

Plant your thuja tree on a cool, early autumn day about six weeks before the first hard frost is due. Choose a location that gets afternoon shade to prevent slight browning of the tips of the tree's needles.

Step 2

Dig a hole that is twice as wide and deep as your thuja sapling's root ball. If your tree was shipped to you, sprinkle the roots with water before you place it in the hole.

Step 3

Set the tree gently in the hole, spreading the roots out carefully. Pack dirt around the roots, and tamp it down to rid the dirt of any air holes. Then, water the thuja plant.

Step 4

Keep your thuja tree well-watered during any periods of hot weather as it grows, especially during the first three years after planting. After that, the tree will be well established, and you can leave it to the elements except in times of severe drought.

Step 5

Fertilize your thuja tree once after planting and once the next spring with a slow-release 10-10-10 formulated fertilizer. Continue to fertilize once or twice a year as the big tree grows.

Step 6

Keep the area around the base of your thuja tree free of weeds to a distance of 3 feet. Avoid using toxic weedkillers and pull the weeds by hand if you can.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Watering tool
  • Slow-release 10-10-10 fertilizer


  • U.S. National Arboretum: Thuja 'Green Giant'

Who Can Help

  • Fast Growing Trees: Thuja Planting Instructions
Keywords: thuja tree, grow thuja trees, green giant

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. She has worked as an educator and now writes academic research content for EBSCO Publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.