While it may not seem like there could be much of a difference between different varieties of the same plant, like the Thujas (both the Green Giant and Emerald Green Thuja), they actually have striking differences that will greatly change the look of your landscape.
Thujas: Similarities, Differences and Size
Thuja Green Giants get their iconic name by growing up to massive heights between 20 to 40 feet tall. They also spread out and grow to be about 12 to 20 feet wide. The Green Giant is better suited for areas with a lot of space to fill in. If you have more ground to cover, then consider this large Thuja.
Emerald Green Thujas are perfect for smaller landscapes because they only grow to heights between 8 and 12 feet. They have a much smaller spread, growing about 3 to 4 feet wide. Emeralds will fit better in tight spaces around the driveway or property borders, and their smaller size make them ideal to grow in containers.
If you are looking for an evergreen that can stand up to the cold and harsh winter weather, check out the Emerald Green Thuja. It is recommended for growing zones 3 through 8 and can survive freezing temperatures that dip down to -40 degrees.
Thuja Green Giants can handle snow and ice, but not at the same level as Emerald Greens. Green Giants are recommended for growing zones 5 through 9, and can withstand freezing temperatures down to -20 degrees, so they still grow extremely well in northern areas. However, Thuja Green Giants are an excellent option for hot areas. They will happily flourish in dry, southern areas where other evergreens can’t take the heat.
Thuja Green Giants are very attractive with dense, dark green foliage. They provide a dark background for flowering trees and shrubs to pop against. Plus, Green Giants have large, wide bases and grow narrower towards the top, giving them a pyramidal shape that causes them to look like giant Christmas Trees.
Emerald Green Thujas have a brighter green glow, which causes them to shine with a bright green hue in the sunlight. They have a more columnar shape, with the same width almost from the ground up before narrowing towards the top.
Both Thuja Green Giants and Emerald Thujas have an extremely high resistance to pests and diseases. While other evergreens often fall due to bagworms or spider mites, along with molds and fungi, Thujas fight them!
They also stand up to extreme weather conditions. Their strong, upright branches won’t snap under heavy layers of snow and ice. With a high level of drought tolerance, they don’t fail during heat waves or suffer dryness brought on by cold winter winds.
Thujas aren’t picky about their soil. They will thrive in a variety of poor soils ranging from ones that are acidic, sandy, and even poor draining soils that are heavy in clay.
Growth Rate and Low Maintenance
There isn’t any waiting around when it comes to Thujas. Green Giants and Emeralds both have growth rates of up to five feet per year so they will quickly grow into large, mature trees.
Forget the watering and feeding schedules because Thujas don’t need them. With an adequate amount of water, they’ll grow big and strong on their own. They don’t have a need for fertilizers or pest sprays.
Don’t worry about thujas growing too large, while it’s true that Green Giants can reach monstrous heights, they are also easy to shape and maintain. Emeralds and Green Giants can be easily shaped into hedges and kept at certain shapes and sizes. Check out more about these privacy trees and more here!