Emerald Green Arborvitae are often prized for their use as a hedge or screen plant. They are fairly low-maintenance and look good year-round.

The name “arborvitae” comes from the French, l’arbre de vie, or tree of life. It stays attractive in all seasons and releases a pleasing aroma when the needles of the tree are squeezed.

Emerald Green Arborvitae are a type of evergreen that grows at a relatively slow rate, less than one foot per year.

Once established, they usually grow about 6-9 inches a year. These evergreens and can take 10-15 years to reach their mature height of 10 to 15 feet. They have a spread of around 3-4 feet at maturity.

Here are a few things you can do to help this evergreen to grow healthy and strong.


Plant in the fall for best results. It helps reduce the stress from the hotter months while it is getting established. It grows best in zones 3-7.

Emerald Green Arborvitae should be planted in acidic, rich, well drained soil. They prefer full sun to partial shade, needing a minimum of four hours of unfiltered sunlight a day.

Planting them 2-3 feet apart will create a natural and attractive privacy screen. However, don’t plant them closer than this. Each plant needs enough air circulation to limit the growth of fungi.

Watering and Fertilizing

Emerald Green Arborvitae should be watered twice a week for the first few months after planting. Then, water them about once a week for the next year or so.

While this evergreen will not need regular fertilizing, using a balanced fertilizer, like 10-10-10 can help counteract slow or sparse growth.

Seasonal Maintenance

These trees are easily cared for with minimal need for regular maintenance. If you choose to prune them, early spring is best. In the winter months, be sure to brush off heavy snow and ice and remove any damaged limbs.

The arborvitae grow naturally in a cone or pyramid shape, but can be pruned into a multitude of shapes according to your preference. Pruning in early spring can help encourage thicker growth.

Physical Features

The Emerald Green Arborvitae has glossy, bright green needles in flat sprays. They have cones that are about an inch long and will turn a reddish-brown color in the fall.

These trees are heat and drought tolerant once they’ve been well established in a given climate and soil type. In addition to their heat tolerance, they are also cold hardy to -40 degrees F.

The arborvitae will not discolor in the winter months, keeping its green hue year-round. This makes it an ideal tree landscaping or accent plant. The thick foliage is also an effective windbreak and provides a natural privacy barrier.

Its branches and needles provide nesting sites and cover for birds and small animals. Its seeds and foliage are a food source for various wildlife. They can be mildly toxic to pets, however.

The Emerald Green Arborvitae mostly resistant to diseases and insects. Watch for poor air circulation that can cause fungi and remove bagworms and their egg sacks for preventative maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Overall, while not the fastest growing tree, the Emerald Green Arborvitae offers much in its attractiveness and low maintenance. It is a good option for a foundation plant, accents, or as a screen, depending on how and where you choose to plant them.