Green Giant Arborvitae – A Herbal Resource

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Greenery is the most important thing we are losing gradually. To save this greenery, all of us should try to put in some minimal effort. This effort shall, in the long run, finally benefit mankind only. 

Now, there are some plants you may not know are the best to heighten the greenery of nature. Though all the plants are capable of Maintaining the balance of nature, there are some which are more crucial and can have a significant impact on the ecosystem.

One of these extremely valuable plants is the green giant arborvitae. Have you heard the name of this extremely beneficial plant? If not, then move on and follow this article to bless your knowledge and nature by increasing the plantation of these types of plants.

What is green giant arborvitae?

green giant abrovitae

The giant arborvitae is primarily a conifer that belongs to the family of Cupressaceae or cypress.

These trees are extremely sturdy and do not shed their leaves throughout the year. They are the evergreen trees that are extremely vital in maintaining our ecosystem. One of the foremost features of these is that they can adapt to various climates and will not disappoint you. They show impressive annual growth, with green leaves blooming all year-round. 

If you desire to have outstanding privacy and eye-soothing greenery throughout the year, just go and opt for the green giant arborvitae. It is going to leave you in utmost awe. They expand very rapidly and are the best ways to create a barrier between any two locations. So, you need to decide whether this is the right choice for you or not.

Green giant arborvitae – Appearance

Green Giant Arborvitae - Halka Nurseries

This tree is worth the name. You will know that it is truly a green giant if you ever get to see it in reality. When provided with the ideal conditions for growth, it can grow to an average height of 3 feet every year until it matures. The utmost height reached by these trees is 55-65 feet. They can extend 11-21 feet wide. So, now you can well imagine why they are entitled with the adjective ‘giant.’

These trees grow uniformly. Their columnar shapes are extremely attractive, and if you are opting to grow them, you can be relaxed. You need not worry about pruning or shearing. It is one of the basic reasons why they are most of the time favoured by the homeowners.

Green giant arborvitae is dense. Their pyramidal shape with the immense touch of rich green gives it an exaggerated look during spring and summer. In winter, they are showered with a darker shade of bronze. The leaves are tiny scale-like and provide a glossy look. The leaves are tightly packed together, due to which they overlap each other. Consequently, a fan of foliage has been created by the leaves of the giant green arborvitae.

They possess a red-brown bark. The barks are again furrowed, and they peel vertically. Green giant arborvitae produces inconspicuous male flowers. The elongated and small female cones produced by them create overlapping scales.

Green giant arborvitae – Characteristics

Bagworms

You can plant these trees in both ways, either single or clusters. When planted as individuals, they can accent a yard, and when planted in clusters, they form dense hedges. To form a natural fence, you can put one plant after every 4-5 feet. These trees are primarily used to create shields. People also opt for the plantation of the green giant arborvitae for noise reduction. It also works as an excellent windbreaker and also serves as great privacy to your house.

Green giant arborvitae-Ideal hardiness zones

These plants thrive well in Hardiness zones 5-9, mostly in the areas of Southeastern states.

These trees generally grow in North America and also in eastern Canada. As an ornamental plant, this tree is immensely popular. Moist soil is most suitable for its growth. 

Other common names of green giant arborvitae

The term arborvitae is a Latin word. It means ‘tree of life. It also implies the numerous medicinal values of the plant.

These plants have various other names, including American arborvitae, white cedar, yellow cedar, thuja, thuja green giant, northern white cedar, thuya d’occident, and eastern arborvitae.

Uses of green giant arborvitae

Like most plants, this plant also serves as an intensely crucial medicinal herb that can help us with its beneficial uses. 

Medicinal uses of green giant arborvitae

Let us know what parts are used for what purposes. 

  • Young branches of this plant that are not more than one year old can be used as medicinal herbs.
  • The twigs, leaves, and bark of this tree are used as herbal medicines.
  • When the leaves, bark, and branches are passed through the steam distillation process, the essential oil is extracted. It is extremely beneficial for skin and hair. This oil is more or less yellow or is colourless. The camphor-like scent is one of the foremost reasons to make this tree act as a medicine. But, you must also note that this oil contains a high proportion of thujone that is a highly toxic substance.

Therapeutic uses of green giant arborvitae

Other than oil extraction from the arborvitae leaves, the green giant arborvitae also encompasses ingredients such as flavonoids, tannin, polysaccharides, and mucilage substances.

Long ago, for a vast period, this tree has been serving the native Americans with its essential therapeutic benefits. It has been used over centuries to treat various types of ailments. Later on, the European settlers were also blessed by its touch. The therapeutic uses of these trees are as follows:

  • The leaves and the young twigs were used as medications for cough and fever. 
  • You can also eradicate headaches, venereal diseases, cystitis, and intestinal parasites with the help of this tree. 
  • You can use it externally for the ailment of burn, arthritis, psoriasis, and gouts.
  • Previously these trees were burnt by the native Americans for the production of thick smoke. They did this as a ritual to believe that the smoke produced will act as a shield and, thus, protect them from all types of evil spirits.
  • In recent days, arborvitae is primarily used in treating polyps and warts. It can be applied either as a tincture or also as an oil. You must continuously use it for several weeks to obtain the best results.
  • Acute bronchitis can also be cured by it to some extent. 
  • This herb contains expectorant as well as anti-catarrhal properties. Therefore, you can use it to treat respiratory diseases as well.
  • Researches have shown that it has a vast impact on the children’s bedwetting problem.
  • Since green giant arborvitae is a diuretic hence, you can utilize it for the treatment of cystitis.
  • The extraction of this herb is applied to joints and muscles for pain relief and reducing stiffness. 
  • This extraction also helps in increasing blood circulation.
  • Scientists have to some extent, believed that arborvitae trees contain antiviral properties, although proven only to some extent.
  • This tree has served for thousands of years as folk medicine.
  • The antifungal and antibacterial properties of green giant arborvitae effectively treat infected wounds, skin infections, and burns.
  • It also contributes to strengthening the immune system by stimulating T lymphocytes and an increase in the production of interleukin-2.
  • Due to virus-resistant properties accompanied by strengthening the immune system,, the herb also serves you with a great tolerating ability to radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Dosage of green giant arborvitae

Proper dosage of every medication is extremely crucial to obtain the best results. Similarly, the correct dose of the green giant arborvitae also can bring you fruits beyond expectation. Now, what is the proper dose? It chiefly depends on several factors, for example, the age of the user, the health of the user, and some other conditions. 

Therefore, you are always recommended to consult a certified herbalist or any other licensed health care physician before opting for any kind of medication or application.

Side effects and probable interactions of green giant arborvitae

So, as the proverb goes, ‘Precaution is better than cure.’ We must also take preliminary precautions before trusting this herb as a medicinal source. Just like it has numerous health benefits and uses, it also comes with some major side effects. 

Following are the negative impacts caused by this herb that you must know before use:

  • This herb is never recommended while you are carrying a child as well as while you are breastfeeding. It is because it may contain an ingredient that induces abortion.
  • The component thujone found in the arborvitae plant is highly poisonous. If this is used for curing internal health issues, it may lead to major problems. In the case prescribed by a physician, it can be used in small amounts and not continuously for more than two weeks.
  • Epileptic seizures can be caused by using this herb internally. You can also experience vomiting, diarrhoea, leg oedema, abdominal pain, and all these can consequently lead to coma. 
  • If you find abdominal bleeding, then it is a sign of thuja poison. The stomach lining and the heart’s muscles are made toxic, and thus it leads to bleeding.
  • Severe damage to the kidney and liver is also likely to take place.
  • The use of oil from green giant arborvitae forces the blood pressure to fall. Consequently, convulsion can occur that finally will cause premature death in some cases.

Growing guide for green giant arborvitae

A proper guide needs to be followed for the plantation of every type of plant. Therefore, Green giant arborvitae is also not an exception. It also demands a proper guideline for its perfect growth.

Planting process of green giant arborvitae

This plant is gradually proving itself to be one of the most vital ones. It seeks the attention of not only the native Americans but also the other countries. Moreover, it demands some special techniques that you need to remember while planting them.

The methods shall vary a bit from planting it for your home or the garden or putting fences in urban and suburban areas. According to researchers, it is adaptable to almost all types of soil and doesn’t demand many hectic processes. In Latin, it has been termed as the tree of life. 

The needle-like leaves of these plants turn reddish-brown with the onset of the winter. Though it blocks the view behind, it also stops the incoming snow and cold wind and creates a beautiful scenario overall.

Why is it superior to many other conifers?

You might be shocked by hearing that the green giant arborvitae are superior to most of the conifers you have probably heard about. It reaches almost 60 feet in height and is almost 20 feet wide. Therefore, it proves itself to be superior enough to most of the other conifers. Isn’t it?

Due to its exceptionally fast growth rate, it can cover up a large area within a very short period. It is one of the best choices to create an evergreen hedge. This conifer will surely protect you and your house from the chilled and damaging winds and other invasive plants when used as a fence. Hence, this tree is considered to be superior to many other conifers.

Site selection

Firstly you can put these plants between two houses to create the utmost fencing. Moist and fertile soil is best for the growth of these giant plants. Make sure that the soil is well-drained. Choosing loamy soil will bear you maximum production. 

Poorly drained and wet soils do not support the production of these trees. Make sure the soil does not remain saggy. It is always better to take a soil test before starting the plantation.

You can plant them in rows on opposite sides and put them in clusters per your wish and demand.

Spacing

If you desire to use them as fencing, then you shall plant each of them 4-5 feet away from each other. You can also plant them in two rows, each being 11-14 feet away from the other. But make sure that the plantation is made 7-8 feet away from any building or ponds, or paths. The spacing is essential so that the other trees also get the opportunity to spread freely.

How to plant arborvitae trees

Planting Arborvitae | PlantAddicts.com

First of all, you need to know if the soil is compacted or not. If yes, you need to till the ground before digging the soil to make plantation holes. The best time for planting the green giant arborvitae is spring though you can plant it anytime. But make sure that the temperature is not too high. It can harm your plant. It is best if the roots gain a stronghold over the soil before winter arrives.

Water the soil completely, but make sure the soil is moist and not wet. Gently pull a few roots to make sure they are not enveloping the root slab. If not wounded, you shall not prune the plants. It will ensure that the tree is growing outward and not in a circle. 

Make the hole twice as large and deep as the arborvitae plant container. No additional evergreen fertilizer is required. Mounding the soil in the middle is necessary.

Now, gradually start restoring the hole. Continue the backfill till the root mass’s top is at the same level as the nursery pot. Make sure that it is never at a low level. Readjust the depth. Then tamp the surface soil in a very gentle way using your hand. There must not be any air pocket near the root of the plants. 

Construct an elevated dike of soil around the surface. Pour some organic mulch. Make it 4 inches out. You can also use pine needles, wood chips, hay, compost, and straw. Fertilization during this time is not required.

Caring of green giant arborvitae

Caring for plants is one of the foremost activities that need to be done with utmost devotion. But for this plant, you can chill. Yes, you do not need enough effort to grow these giant arborvitae. Minimal care and maintenance are all that you need. 

Fertilizer

Use a balanced fertilizer and add it each spring. Make sure that the nitrogen content of the fertilizer is high. If you can get hold of slow-release fertilizer, then it will serve as the best one. Keep in mind that you are not too over-fertilized. So, read the given instructions on the label very carefully.

Soil

Green giant arborvitae is not at all choosy regarding soils. They can tolerate a vast variety of soil types. These plants can easily adapt to clay and sandy soils. Alkaline and acidic soils are also suitable for them. But they are more or less sensitive when it comes to salty soil. Moreover, you should never plant them near road areas.

Watering

How much water is needed? A crucial question, right? So, for the initial three months, water after every two days. After the completion of 3 months, pour one inch of water. If you are doing the plantation on sandy soil, then the water requirement will be more initially. Though after full maturity, they can resist drought.

Pruning

You are suggested to start the pruning session while they are young. It ensures their healthy growth. If you are not choosing to prune, they will grow into steady tall trees with pyramidal shapes. The foliages are dense. After one year, you can prune them accordingly. If you desire a low hedge shape, then shearing is necessary several times while the tree goes through its growing session.

Sun and shade

Be it complete sunlight or partially shaded, giant arborvitae can adapt to it perfectly. Four to five hours of unfiltered and direct sunlight every day is suitable for the growth of these plants.

Lifespan

Green giant arborvitae can thrive up to 45 years in its growing conditions.

Tolerance of green giant arborvitae

How to Manage and Identify Arborvitae

These giant trees are worth their names. They are extremely hardy and can withstand numerous climatic hazards. These trees can resist the following weather issues:

  • Drought
  • Insects
  • Snow
  • Wind
  • Heat
  • Fungus
  • Humidity
  • Diseases

Pests and diseases

These giant trees are highly resistive when it comes to pests. Yet, some pests can destroy your plant. For example, the spider mites turn the beautiful grey leaves to brown. Aphids are the pests that suck the arborvitae saps. It causes premature retardation in the arborvitae trees and also changes the leaf colour to yellow or brown. 

The most common disease caused by green giant arborvitae is blight. It is the result of the disease-causing organism called fungal pathogens. It can consequently kill your trees in the long run.

Pros and cons of planting green giant arborvitae

Some people desire arborvitae while some others are strictly against it. Every tree has some major pros and cons of planting. If you desire to plant any, make sure you know all the pros and cons. Or else, you may have to suffer afterwards. Moreover, before supporting any statement, you must know beforehand the good and the bad aspects.

Arborvitae is mostly used in urban and suburban areas along with homes. Here we are going to discuss the pros and cons of planting the green giant arborvitae.

Pros of planting green giant arborvitae

There are a few reasons why many individuals suggest the giant green arborvitae as a boon in the garden. If you are not aware of those reasons till now, then it is high time you get introduced to them.

Evergreen and fast-growing

There is a small number of gardeners who consider green giant arborvitae as a true tree. Of course, this is an extreme shame. It is always a pleasure to see this plant coming out gradually from its seed.

The chief reason for its extraordinarily increasing fame is its fast-growing nature. A very few plants can compete with them in the rate of growth per year. They can survive in most of the regions. Furthermore, they are not only adapted to suit a particular country and weather conditions. Its rapid growth is an advantage when you are trying to put a privacy hedge. 

Easy-care and undemanding

 It needs very minimal care. But that does not imply that you are going to stop the irrigation completely. The more strong and healthy you make them, the more power to resist pests and diseases. They enjoy pruning and shearing with intense compassion. You are suggested not to prune the tree back to the bare stem. It is because there is no assurance that it shall grow back.

As we have mentioned before it is not very choosy. Yet, deep soil accompanied by an outstanding drainage facility is always preferred by these giant trees. They enjoy growing in almost all types of soil. Only some amount of sun will do. It is required for the complete maturity of the tree. Pests problems are also not very severe and thriving does not demand any fertilizer. Moreover, they can withstand a lot of climatic issues. To sum up, they are undemanding.

Beneficial for wildlife

These plants are evergreen. So, it is very natural that wildlife is attracted to them. Birds and squirrels top this list. Moreover, small mammals also try to get their food and shelter from this plant. Moreover, their giant nature can easily serve a large number of small animals. It ultimately takes much care of nature.

Inexpensive

An important point to the pros list is that it is very inexpensive. If you desire to buy a small plant, then the cost is far less. You can always choose to do that as they can grow very fast and bear you benefits within a short period.

Cons of planting green giant arborvitae

Just like the pros, there are a few reasons why many individuals suggest the giant green arborvitae as a curse in the garden. If you are not acquainted with those reasons till now, then it is known today.

Too much sensitive

Low maintenance is the chief reason why gardeners and many other individuals are attracted to them. But did you know that this is true if and only if you can provide all the ideal circumstances? They are not at all resistive when it comes to salt and dry winds. They are found to turn brown very rapidly. Sometimes it is seen that they plunge their needles perpetually.

Plain boring

Maybe this is not true for everyone. But for some people, it is a boring tree with no special beauty hidden. According to them, this shrub has been overused, which is intolerable.

Split and thus break easily

Sometimes you can notice branch breaks all of a sudden. Also, you may create a gap in the hedge if the snow piles up during the winter season. The brisk wind is also a threat to their survival.

Loved by bagworms and deer

If you are dwelling at a place where there are no signs of any natural predators, then deer are going to eat up your tree within two to three months or so. Furthermore, in winter, this scenario is evident more frequently as greenery is rare to find during this time. Therefore, you need to be careful enough. 

Varieties of green giant arborvitae

There are some of the basic varieties of the green giant arborvitae. Know them to choose the one you desire.

Emerald green

Scientific name: Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd.’

Height: 9 to 12 feet tall

Spread: almost 3 feet wide

Growth rate: Slow to moderate

Preferred conditions for growth: Complete sunlight to partially shaded, loamy, and well-drained soil, neutral or alkaline pH value soil, consistency in soil moisture

Deer resistant: No

Green giant

Scientific name: Thuja plicata

Height: 45 to 65 feet tall

Spread: 11 to 17 feet wide

Growth rate: Fast

Preferred conditions for growth: Full sunlight or partly shaded, adaptable to almost all types of soil, acidic to alkaline pH value soil, moderately resistant to drought, and sensitive to salt

Deer resistant: Yes

Firechief

Scientific name: Thuja occidentalis ‘Congabe’

Height: 2 to 4 feet tall

Spread: 3 to 4 feet wide

Growth rate: Slow

Preferred conditions for growth: Complete sun or partial shade, acidic to alkaline pH value, well-drained but moist soil

Deer resistant: Yes

American arborvitae

Scientific name: Thuja occidentalis

Height: 45 to 65 feet tall

Spread: 12 to 15 feet wide

Growth rate: Slow to medium

Preferred conditions for growth: Full sunlight, well-drained soil but moist, slightly acidic pH value

Deer resistant: No

Dwarf golden

Scientific name: Thuja orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’

Height: 3 to 6 feet tall

Spread: 3 to 4 feet wide

Growth rate: Slow

Preferred conditions for growth: Full or partial sunlight, well-drained but consistently moist soil

Deer resistant: No

Golden globe

Scientific name: Thuja occidentalis ‘Golden Globe’

Height: 2 to 4 feet tall

Spread: 3 to 4 feet wide

Growth rate: Slow to medium

Preferred conditions for growth: Complete sunlight to partially shaded, loamy, and well-drained soil, acidic to neutral pH value soil

Deer resistant: No

North pole

Scientific name: Thuja occidentalis ‘Art Boe’

Height: 9 to 14 feet tall

Spread: 3 to 4 feet wide

Growth rate: Moderate

Preferred conditions for growth: Full or partial sunlight, well-drained but consistently moist soil

Deer resistant: No

Conclusion

So finally, you are here with all the benefits and information regarding green giant arborvitae. What are you waiting for? Suppose you are inquisitive about having a terrain contractor establish arborvitae on your possession or interested in how to conserve your trees and shrubs. In that case, you are always suggested to do so. Just make these giant trees a member of your garden and bless yourself. I hope you understand their importance.

FAQs on green giant arborvitae

Are the roots of green giant arborvitae invasive?

Studies say that the roots of these plants are not at all invasive.

Does arborvitae attract bugs?

A few variations of challenges are encountered by the arborvitae plants regarding pests and diseases. These pest problems also include spider mites, scale, and bagworms. Thus, it is a good notion to fertilize them at an early stage.

How can you stop arborvitae from growing taller?

Regular but light pruning is the best way to curb your arborvitae plants from growing taller. This light pruning must be continued once each year till it touches the height you prefer. Once it strikes your expected height, start trimming new growth every year. It will stop the growth gradually. 

Should you top your arborvitae plants?

The green giant arborvitae plants do not demand to be topped. If you prune the top, then the vertical growth is curtailed. It establishes a vast, hideous area lacking lush green needles.

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