Arborvitae are excellent trees that can be grown individually or as beautiful, dense hedges. They range from dwarf size to tall, from very cold hardy to moderately cold hardy, and with different growth rates. They are all dense, with lustrous dark green sprays of foliage that extend from the ground to the top of the trees.

“Little Simon” Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis “Little Simon”) is a compact, dwarf tree that is a selection of Emerald Green or “Smaragd” Arborvitae. It is very cold hardy and slow growing, it does well in sun or partial shade, and has a beautiful dark green color. “Little Simon” is perfect as a low-growing hedge, or for a formal knot garden, or urban garden. Planted individually, it would do well in a container or in a border, rock garden, or along a patio. It would also be a good alternative for boxwoods that have been infected with Boxwood Blight since it is small and slow growing.

Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis “Smaragd”) is a semi-dwarf, dense, pyramidal variety with flat, glossy, dark green sprays of foliage. It is cold hardy in northern gardens, but is also adaptable to climates all over the United States, including the heat and humidity of the southeastern U.S. Emerald Green is popular as a specimen, as a hedge, screen, or windbreak, or even as a large container tree. It grows comfortably to 20’, but is often grown as a 6’ to 12’ hedge. It does well in sun or partial shade, and takes well to pruning.

“Virescens” Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata “Virescens”) is a narrow, pyramidal tree with beautiful, dense, dark green foliage that keeps its color all year. The species is the largest member of the Cypress family, but the ‘Virescens’ cultivar is narrower and to a garden scale of about 18’ high. It does best in moist areas with cool summers, and in full sun to light shade, but grows well in a variety of conditions. ‘Virescens’ is an excellent, fast-growing specimen tree, screen or windbreak, and makes a superb tall privacy hedge.

“Green Giant” Arborvitae (Thuja plicata × Thuja standishii) is a fast-growing hybrid with a dense, pyramidal form that can grow to 50’ high. It has lustrous dark green foliage, and is considered to be a disease-free alternative to the Leyland Cypress. It does well in sun and partial shade, in a variety of climates including the hot, humid southeastern U.S. “Green Giant” is perfect as a specimen tree for a large area, or as a tall screen or privacy hedge.

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