Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Plant Emerald Cedar Trees

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

Its semi-dwarf growing habit and emerald green color throughout the year make the emerald cedar (Thuja occidentalis \"Smaragd\") one of the most popularly grown cedars, according to horticulturists with Ohio State University. Emerald green cedar grows to a height of 12 feet, with a 3-foot spread. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and has no serious insect or disease problems. Emerald green cedar is hardy to USDA zones 2 through 7.

Choose a planting location for the emerald cedar. The tree requires sun but will grow in partial shade. Too much shade will cause the foliage to loosen from its pyramidal form, according to specialists at Missouri Botanical Garden.

Dig a hole that is the same depth as the nursery pot in which the emerald cedar is growing and three times the width.

Use the gardening fork to lightly scrape the sides of the hole. This will allow the emerald cedar’s roots to more easily penetrate the soil.

Remove the emerald cedar from its pot and place it in the planting hole. Fill the hole halfway with soil and then fill the hole with water. When the water drains, continue to fill the hole with soil. Pack the soil around the base of the tree with your feet.

Water the emerald cedar until the water puddles. When the water drains, add a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the emerald cedar, keeping it 2 inches from the bark and spreading it in a 3-foot radius around the tree.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Gardening fork
  • Mulch

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.