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The Plant Guide

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‘Smaragd’ American arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd'

THOO-yah oks-ee-den-TAL-is

This cultivar is a compact, evergreen, pyramidal tree that retains its glossy, bright green foliage throughout the year, making it a valuable hedge plant or specimen.

The cultivar name is Danish (where the cultivar originated) for “emerald.” So it shouldn’t be surprising that this plant is also known as ‘Emerald’ or ‘Emerald Green’.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsThis plant tolerates a wide range of soils and likes humid weather with regular rain. The foliage becomes less dense if planted in too much shade.

CareThis cultivar is easily grown in average, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Water deeply in hot and dry weather and mulch the root zone. Prune in early spring before onset of new growth. If grown as a hedge, trim in spring and late summer if desired. Keep trained to a single leader to avoid ice and snow damage.

PropagationInsert semi-ripe cuttings in late summer.

ProblemsCaterpillars, bark beetles, weevils, mites, and scale insects are common, as are butt rott, twig dieback, Botrytis, mushroom root rot, and needle blights. Deer may browse the foliage.

  • Genus : Thuja
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Characteristics : Evergreen, North American Native, Showy Foliage
  • Uses : Foliage, Foundation Plantings, Front Yard, Sun
  • Tolerance : Frost Tolerant
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Foliage Color : Green
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Trees
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Winter Interest

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