Emerald Green Arborvitae are the most common types of arborvitae in the Northwest. They are known for being low-maintenance and cheap. These tall, skinny evergreens make great privacy hedges.
But exactly how fast should they be growing? By monitoring its growth rate, you can tell if you are taking care of it properly, and also, you can know how long it will take to fill in the space. Should you transplant mature trees or plant them as saplings and wait for them to grow?
Emerald Green Trees grow at about a rate of 9 inches per year. When they are first getting established, they will grow roughly 12-18 inches per year. After they are established, they will slow down their growth rate to about 6-9 inches per year.
Factors That Affect Growth
As with most plants and trees, ‘Smaragd trees need the proper amount of sun, water, and nutrients. Make sure to check out our Arborvitae article to learn more details.
As a quick overview, they need full sun and well-drained soil. They need as much sun as possible for optimal growth; otherwise, their foliage and growth will suffer. It is okay for them to be planted in areas where they may receive some afternoon shade (after 3 PM), but the more sun, the better.
As for soil, they need to have soil that drains well. Adding in some organic materials will help with not only nutrients but also with drainage. If you plant in an area with standing water, your trees will not survive.
Even though they do not require a lot of maintenance, it is still good to give them a good watering once every 2-3 weeks in the dead of summer.
What Size Does It Grow To?
At full size, the Thuja Occidentalis stands at about 12-15 feet tall and have a span of 3-4 feet. When first planting them, make sure that you space trees 4 feet apart from each other so they can grow into the space.
Transplanting a mature arborvitae will help you develop your hedge faster. If you plant a sapling, you will have to be patient as it fills in the space.
What To Do About Shaping New Growth?
New growth may sometimes not grow the way you wanted it to grow. Trimming and shaping your arborvitae is something you can do on a yearly basis.
Remember that you should avoid cutting into old growth or taking the top of your arborvitae off when you are shaping. Emerald Green trees do not do well with such drastic pruning and will not fill back in the space. So when pruning, only take off new growth.