Emerald Green Arborvitae – What You Need to Know

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Evergreen trees and shrubs are great if you want a low-maintenance garden as well as a dash of color in the cold, dreary months of winter. One popular choice is the Emerald Green Arborvitae. Read on to find out how to plant and care for this gorgeous cultivar.

Emerald Green Arborvitae: Those wanting privacy between themselves and their neighbors will appreciate a wall of bright, living greenery. The Emerald Green Arborvitae can provide exactly that. Although it can grow to be 10 to 15 feet tall, you can also prune it shorter. The cultivar has a nice, pyramid shape to it and while you need to prune back dead branches, it does not require a lot of maintenance. It grows well in cool, dry areas, and is drought resistant. The Emerald Green Arborvitae will stay bright green all year long, which means you always have a lovely punch of color.

What is an Emerald Green Arborvitae?

An Emerald Green Arborvitae is both a shrub and a tree, depending on if you allow it to fully grow or trim and shape it. It also goes by the name Smaragd, which means emerald in Danish, as this is where the plant originates.

Landscape Attributes

One of the main reasons for planting this cultivar is that it makes for a great privacy screen. You can plant several of these shrubs relatively near each other and they will grow into a living fence.

Furthermore, their height at maturity is between 10 and 15 feet, so you don’t need to worry about windstorms damaging their branches or them falling on houses.


Planting for Emerald Green Arborvitae should happen in the fall. They grow fast and will be ready to sprout new branches in the spring.


Emerald Green Arborvitae shrubs and trees prefer cool, dry environments. They do well in hardiness zones 2 through 7 and while they can survive very cold temperatures, if there is too much humidity, they are at risk of developing a fungus.

Growth rate

The growth rate of an Emerald Green Arborvitae is 1 to 2 feet per year. They hit maturity when they are 10 to 15 feet tall.


The overall lifespan of an Emerald Green Arborvitae is 25 years. While they don’t need a lot of specific care, you should make sure they have enough water in the hotter summer months, and inspect the shrubs for signs of disease.

How to Plant Emerald Green Arborvitae

  • Space your shrubs about 3 to 4 feet apart. They grow quickly and this will grow in soon, creating a nice, natural privacy screen.
  • Pick a spot where there is good soil drainage.
  • Dig a hole that is the same depth as the root ball. The roots should be about an inch above the ground.
  • Place the root ball in the hole and then add loose soil. Try not to pack the soil in too tightly or else you can smother the roots.
  • Water the area two to three times a week, until the root system can be established. You may need to add more soil as it settles around the roots.

How to Care for Emerald Green Arborvitae

Water two to three times a week after you first plant this cultivar. Afterward, you should water once per week if there is no heavy rainfall. However, don’t overwater as the plant is drought resistant, and too much water will cause rot.

After you plant your Emerald Green Arborvitae, add a layer of compost on top. You can repeat this action every year, although it shouldn’t need too many extra nutrients.

While you don’t need to fertilize this plant, you should always monitor it for signs of stress or an inability to grow. If its size looks stunted in the first year or two, test the soil to see if it is healthy enough.

During the spring you can engage in a bit of light pruning but a lot is unnecessary. Always trim the branches and not the bare wood as this wood won’t grow more leaves.

Remove any dead branches and if you want, you can shape it slightly for a more even pyramid look.

As for the winter, you should remove snow from the branches as they can bend and break under the strain of the extra weight.

Finally, the trees do need plenty of sunlight. If there are larger trees nearby, you may need to prune these to allow enough sun through.

Are emerald green arborvitae easy to grow?

One of the main draws of the Emerald Green Arborvitae, apart from its brilliant color, is how easy it is to grow.

For best results, you should live in hardiness zones 2 through 7. The cultivar likes cool, dry environments, although it can also do ok if the climate is very dry or very cold.

Overall, Emerald Green Arborvitaes don’t have many pests you need to be worried about. Their biggest threats are spider mites and mealybugs, but this happens rarely.

How long does it take for emerald green arborvitae to grow?

After you first plant your Emerald Green Arborvitae tree, it will grow 1 to 2 feet every year. Then, after it is established, it will grow about six inches every year.

The mature height of an Emerald Green Arborvitae is 10 to 15 feet. As for its mature width, it will be between 3 and 4 feet.

How much does emerald green arborvitae cost?

You can find one of these cultivars for around $30. This is a good investment, given its 25-year lifespan.

While most local gardening stores will offer these plants, you may need to special order them. There are also online gardening centers that can deliver them for a fee.


If you are like most people and are not born with a green thumb, finding an easy to grow and care for cultivar is a must. The Emerald Green Arborvitae has a lustrous green tone to it and makes for a great living fence with plenty of privacy.

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