The Ultimate Privacy Tree

How Planting Thuja Adds Privacy to Your Life

By Jill Raver Posted on 9/3/19

If you’re looking to add a layer of privacy to your property naturally, consider planting thuja plicata x standishii ‘Green Giant’ AKA Thuja trees.


The Thuja Green Giant is the fastest growing privacy tree which makes it the most popular evergreen tree for green screens and privacy hedges. This tree is large and makes an excellent windbreaker or sound barrier. The Green Giant is low maintenance, pest, deer, and disease resistant, and drought tolerant once established. This fast growing privacy tree can grow 3 to 5 feet in a single year!

Thuja Green Giant Trees


While this arborvitae is known mainly as a privacy tree, it has a lovely form and deep green color that lend it to being an attractive specimen tree as well. The evergreen foliage is soft and feathery and the habit is a tradition pyramid shape. The mature height is 40 to 60 feet and the mature width is 10 to 15 feet. In a hedge, a Thuja Green Giant will be closer to the lower end of this size and when planted alone as a focal tree it will achieve the higher end of the size spectrum.

The Right Planting Location

Green Giant Arborvitae are recommended for growing zones 5 to 9. They will grow the best in full sun, but can tolerate some shade. Thuja Green Giant trees adapt to just about any soil including clay and sand, but avoid spots that have chronic standing water for best results.

Planting Your Thuja

Dig a hole about twice the width and as deep as the root ball for each tree. Avoid planting too deep. The top of the root ball should meet up with or be slightly above the existing soil line of the ground. Water each tree in well. Back-fill the soil, tamping down the earth gently to remove any air pockets. Do not stomp the soil around the trees with your feet. This can compact the soil and make it harder for the roots to grow. Water each tree again at the base with a hose until the ground is thoroughly saturated.


Pro Tips

  • Apply an inch or 2 of mulch around each plant. This step adds more work now, but saves you work later! Mulch helps hold moisture in the ground, protects the roots and keeps weeds that compete for water and nutrients at bay.
  • While Arborvitae Green Giant trees will grow in clay soil they may not grow as fast as they would in a soil with better drainage. Amend your soil as deeply as you can with potting soil and compost to improve the quality and drainage of your soil.

Caring for Thuja

The Thuja Green Giant is incredibly easy to grow and maintain. Once established this tree requires little, if any, care. Thuja Green Giants are drought tolerant once established. But keep them watered well for at least the first 2 to 3 months, preferably the first year. This helps the roots grow deeper and establish faster which will give you a stronger, healthier, sturdier tree.

Pro Tip

Thuja Green Giant trees do like fertilizer. So feeding them with a balanced slow release fertilizer each spring will help boost their growth. If isn’t necessary though if you’d prefer to skip that chore.




For a traditional straight privacy screen, Thuja Green Giant trees can be planted 5 to 10 feet apart on center, depending on how quickly you need them to fill in.


Pro Tip

For quick privacy choose larger trees and plant using a staggered privacy landscape plan. Plant each tree within the line 6 to 10 feet apart, and plant the trees on the diagonal 6 to 8 feet apart. This instant privacy hedge makes an excellent windbreak and noise barrier.


Before you buy Thuja, plan out your property and garden with Hortisketch.


About Author: Find Jill Raver over at to learn more about Thuja. As a supplier she can also be found over here on Garden Savvy.